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Sketches of the Virginia Conference, Met 




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BISHOP DAVID S. DOGGETT, D.D. 



SKETCHES 



OF THE 



VIRGINIA CONFERENCE, 



METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, SOUTH. 



BY 



REV. JOHN J. LAFFERTY. 



WITH INTEODTJCTION BY BISHOP DAVID S. DOGGETT, D. D. 



RICHMOND, VA.: 

vV ,ittttH»fr, f 
CHRISTIAN ADVOCATE OFFICE, f % 

1880. -/^V"""' r ""% 

L'J: V \ 






Printed By Bound By 

Whittet & Shepperson, J. W. Randolph & English, 

Richmond, Va. Richmond, Va. 



TO 

THE LAYMEN WITHIN THE BOUNDS 

OF 

THE VIRGINIA CONFERENCE, 

Ready Fob Every Good "Word and Work; 
and especially to 

JAMES B. PACE, 
THOMAS BRANCH, 

GEORGE M. BAIN, JR., 

WHOSE PUBLIC SERVICES TO METHODISM " PRAISE THEM IN THE GATES," AND WHOSE PRIVATE CHARITIES 

ARE TOO NUMEROUS TO BE HID ; 

THESE SKETCHES 

OP 

THEIR PASTOBS 

ABE RESPECTFULLY INSCRIBED. 



PREFACE. 



Luke wrote the Acts of the Apostles, while they were still alive. John Wesley published a 
journal of his own labors, and had a picture made of himself on copper, and used it in the first is 
sue of the Arminian Magazine. "There were short "accounts of his itinerant preachers, accompanied 
by their respective portraits, published in the same magazine." 

JOHN J. LAFFEBTY. 



INTRODUCTION.", 



Christian biography is the repository of the names and character of the honored servants of 
God. In this respect, it may be compared to a public conservatory of foreign plants, in which the 
rarest specimens, gathered from every clime, are collected and preserved for the information and 
admiration of curious and intelligent observers. It subserves the analogous, but nobler purpose of 
selecting and comprising, within accessible limits, those " plants of renown " which have enriched 
and adorned the garden of the Lord ; and whose fragrance would otherwise perish from' the memory 
of the living. It performs the grateful task of rescuing their record from oblivion, of perpetuating 
their image, of embalming their virtues, and of transmitting to others the treasure of their useful- 
ness. It is more still. It is a gallery of life-like portraits, taken by the artist from original sources, 
the indisputable identity of which speaks from the canvass, and whose recognized ideals recall the 
period, and realize the scenes of their consecrated activity. 

The object of the present volume is decidedly peculiar. It does not derive its materials from 
the realm of the dead, but from the region of the living. Nor does it seek, for its pages, promis- 
cuous examples of Christian worth. It is more specific. It embraces none but ministers of the 
gospel, and only a certain class of them. It proposes to commemorate the persons and the charac 
teristics of the existing members of the Virginia Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, 
South. And it proposes not to await their departure from the scene of their labors ; but, in their 
behalf, to imitate, .without presumption, the devout example of Mary, who, in anticipation of her 
Lord's death, annointed His feet "with a pound of ointment," which, to her, was "very costly.'' 
The promptness and profuseness of her act of devotion exposed her to the cavil of a miscalculating 
critic ; to whom Jesus said, "Let her alone ; against the day of my burying hath she kept this." 

With similar approval, we may commend the loving tribute of the author, who desires, while 
the laborers are yet in the field, to arrest and retain their fugitive forms, and to ensure the authen 
ticity of their respective narratives. So much, and no more is attempted. Verisimilitude is thus 
effected, without exaggeration, on the one hand ; or the risk of miscarriage, on the other. The future 
biographer will fill up the outlines, and add the details, according to his discretion. 

The skillful industry which secures these results, is not only entitled to our praise, for the com 
pleteness of its success ; but it confers a positive benefit upon the Church and upon society. It 
holds up the mirrored excellence of one generation to the inspection of another, and re-produces 
the features and the fortunes of those whose lives, in no small degree, have augmented the sum 
total of human happiness. 

* The volume before us, is also a. valuable contribution to the religious literature of the times 
which require the concrete, more than the abstract truth of religion. It demonstrates, by examples, 
the power of Christianity in transforming the lives and shaping the destinies of its witnesses ; and 
it illustrates the primitive process by which God's selected instruments are designed to accomplish 



vt INTRODUCTION. 

the regeneration of the world ; in contrast with the bald agnosticism of modern speculation, and 
the utter impotence of a diluted philanthrophy. A divinely appointed and attested mini stry is the 
cardinal agency in the conversion of mankind. No other measures will ever accomplish it. 

Our ingenious author has invested his novel enterprise with permanent attractions. The en- 
tire volume is interspersed with tinted plates, on which are grouped, according to seniority, ele- 
gantly executed photo-lithographs of the members of the Virginia Conference, in the best style of 
the art, preserving their exact identity with wonderful expressiveness. Following, in historical or- 
der, is a condensed biographical sketch, remarkable for its terse, epigramatic vivacity, and never de- 
faced by fulsome eulogy. These successive groups contain not less than one hundred and fifty- 
seven accurate engravings, with appropriate descriptions ; the whole constituting a collection of sa- 
cred memorials as tasteful in style as they are truthful in execution. 

The beautiful mechanism of the volume happily corresponds with the quality of its contents, 
in type, binding, and embellishment. If it would be rash to say that the author has exhausted his 
resources upon this production of his genius ; it would be safe to say, that he has lavished them up- 
on it, without stint ; and that his labors merit the appreciation of his brethren. „ 

There is neither error nor arrogance in affirming, that he has paid, in this work, a just homage 
to Methodism, as the cause of God ; and has furnished an instructive chapter to its general history ; 
in the midst of constant editorial responsibilities, and in the prosecution of plans, the fertility of 
which would perplex and appal the most of men. 

It may well be presumed that a book so unique in its composition, so graphic in its delineations, 
so authentic in its statements, and so personally interesting in its topics, will meet with a reception 
so cordial as to leave no doubt either of the felicity of its conception, or the utility of its publica 
tion. 

Allied, as I have been, for many years, to the Virginia Conference, I confess the existence of a 
lively personal interest in the successful accomplishment of this memorial volume. It revives pleasant 
reminiscences, as the eye glances upon well-known faces, and traces, in laconic lines, the events and 
adventures of former fellow laborers ; or pauses upon the features and acts of those who have later 
entered upon their " work of faith and labor of love.'' 

Within these ornamented lids are enclosed gems of different grades of value, and shades of 
lustre. They all shine, however, as God has given to each "the measure of faith;" and all reflect 
the splendor of ' the same eternal light. They are not yet stars. That dignity awaits those who 
shall be "faithful until death." Even then, "as one star differefch from another star in glory, so 
also shall be the resurrection of the dead ; " which felicity may God grant to those whose names and 
characters are recorded in this book. 

D. S. DOGGETT. 

Richmond, Va., July, 1880. 



CONTENTS. 











PAGE. 






PAGE. 


Allen, vw <r .... 124 


De Berry, . . . .195 


Ames, l ^-^' 








115 


De Shazo, 






187 


Amiss, w* 








89 


Dey, 






56 


lAaderson, <fk 
kArmistead, 








98 


Duke, 






200 








156 


Edwards, J. E. 






22 


Atwill, ^ 








177 


Edwards, J. J. 






72 


August, 








48 


Edwards, W. E. 






140 


(Bacon, / 








151 


Edwards, F. M. 






142 


Bain, ^_ 








69 


Edwards, W.H. 






192 


Bayton, * — ^ 








47 


Edwards, T. O. 






202 


Beadles, v_*- 








92 


Evans, 






192 


Beckham, ^s 








141 


Ferguson, 






158 


Bennett, v^ 








31 


Poushee, 






193 


Betty, ^_ 








184 


Garland, 






113 


Bishop, — 








56 


Garlick, 






27 


Blackwell, 








49 


Gary. 






28 


Bledsoe, A. C. 








131 


Gates, 






169 


Bledsoe, J. W. 








160 


Gibbs, 






52 


Blincoe, " — 








100 


Granbery, 






59 


Blogg, — "^ 








133 


Green, C. H. 






180 


Bpggs, T. H. ^ 








102 


Green, W. T. 






202 


Booker, "«»«*«^ 






122 


Gregory, "W. H. 


• 


* 


185 


Bowles, -» w .. 






118 


Hall, 


* 


* 


71 


Bradshaw, •*•— ^ . 






197 


Hank, 






103 


Brannin, 








45 


Herring, 






178 


Brown, - — 








76 


Hilldrup, 






144 


Burton, 








191 


Hobday, 






153 


\*£utts, 








165 


Hope, 






180 


Campbell, 








175 


Howard, 






46 


Chandler, E. G. . 








200 


Hunter, 






185 


Cheatham, 








101 


Jamieson, 






16 


Christian, 








70 


Johnson 






194 


\j8lark, J. L. 








50 


Jones, 






149 


Colonna, 








123 


Jordan, "W. P. 






164 


Compton, J. W. 








120 


Jordan, E- M. 






171 


Compton, R. A. 








134 


Judkins, 






80 


Connelly, 








131 


Kabler, 






181 


Crider, 








93 


Lafferty, 






107 


Crocker, 








37 


Lambeth, 






105 


Crooks, 








96 


Laughon, 


, 


154 


Crownj 


! 






94 


Laurens, 


- 


• 


81 



Vlll 






CONTENTS. 








PAGE. 


PAGE. 


Lear, Joseph . . . . 21 


Koyall, . . . . 190 


Lear, W. W. 
VLee, 




189 


Saunders, J. M 


L 




32 






13 


Saunders, R H 


1 




67 


Lipscomb, 




\ 


197 


Scott, 






205 


Littleton, 
Lumpkin, J. T. 
Lumsden, 






63 

172 

24 


Simpson, 
Sledd, 






204 
109 


MaTlTllTIg, 

YMartin, 






29 
114 


Southall, 
Spencer, 






36 

58 


Mastin, 






199 


Spiller, 






60 


McAden, 






9 


Starr, ♦ 






148 


McGee, 






42 


Sturgis, 






201 


McSparran, 






112 


Taylor, T. J. 






155 


Merritt, 






135 


Tennille, 






146 


Michaels, 






23 


Traynham, 






203 


MitcheU, 






93 


Twilly, 






186 


Moore, 






173 


Twitty, 






186 


Moorman, S. T 






15 


Vaden, 






136 


Moorman, R. J 






174 


Vanderslice, 






129 


Moss, James 
Moss, John 0. 

VNolley, 

. Norfleet, 


. 




97 

206 

10 

30 


Waggener, J. R 
Waggener, W. O 
Wallace, D. M. 






67 

198 

83 


\|Patteson, 






182 


Ware, 






61 


Payne, W. E. 






171 


Warwick, 






201 


Peterson, P. A 






73 


Watson, 






128 


Peterson, E. M 






75 


Watts, R. W. . 






111 


Potts, 






78 


Watts, C. E. . 






145 


Pritchett, 






116 


Wertenbaker, . 






161 


Proctor, J. H. 






108 


Whitehead, 






87 


Pruden, 






199 


Wiles, 






39 


Ray, 






79 


Wills, 






54 


Reed, L. S. 






68 


Williams, W. G. 






64 


Reed, J. C. — -. 






157 


Williams, T.L. . 






84 


Rhodes, 






167 


Wilson, 






33 


Riddick, J. A. . 






19 ■ 


Wise, 






Riddick, J. H. . 






95 






138 


Riddick, W. H. 






206 


Woodward,B.P. 






40 


Robins, W. P. . 






137 


Woodward, J. P. 
%right, W. P. . 






85 


Robins, J. W. S. 






208 






159 


Robinson, 






57 ; 


^Wright, G. M. . 






168 


Rosser, L. 






26 


Wrenn, 






207 


Rowe, 






65 


Younger, 






196 


Rowzie, 






17 


Zimmermann, . 




. 


207 



SKETCHES. 



Rev. James McAden. 

ONE name alone on the Conference roll goes back to the last century. James McAden was born 
on the 15th August, 1795. He is of the long list of preachers that North Carolina has contrib- 
uted to our ranks. His birth-place is Caswell county. The Methodists held a two days meeting in 
1810, near Milton, on Dan river. Young McAden, the grandson of a Presbyterian minister, with 
nearly all his relations of that church, was among the converts. In 1812 he began to preach. 
Asbury and McKendree were the superintendents. There were at that time within the present 
territory of the Virginia Conference hardly twelve thousand white members. John Early was 
travelling Greensville Circuit, with Philip Bruce as his Presiding Elder, on the Meherrin District. 

Jesse Lee served Eichmond that year. The less famous but great Thomas L. Douglass, was on 
the James River District. John Buxton, the Elder, of the Raleigh District, which took in " Haw 
River, Tar River and Roan Oak," sat in the Quarterly Conference that gave young McAden license 
to preach. The Virginia Conference (which included, in the main, North Carolina,) held its session 
of 1814 in Norfolk. McAden's name appears among those received on trial. The two superintend- 
ents, Asbury and McKendree, were present. There was no lack of debate. The licentiate found 
the tongue of the itinerent, like a swivel gun, easily trained on any object at any point of the com- 
pass. The "flashes of silence" must have been few. There surely was darkening of counsel by 
words. The Senior Bishop didn't value men for their much speaking. His journal has this line: 
"We have been mighty in talk this session." And he did not relish the syllogisms and rhetoric of 
the fathers ! Even they were of like passions with ourselves, and not always wise. It is very 
reassuring to modern folly, swift to speak. It seems the preachers, and especially the one in Nor- 
folk, had made the fine wardrobes of the sisters a target for their reproof. He was soon " in trou- 
ble not as other men," and found how hazardous it was to meddle with "the high heads and enor- 
mous bonnets" of the saintly mothers and maidens in Israel. The members brought a pressure on 
the Elder, and the rash brother was removed. The Conference reviewed the action of the Elder, 
and a battle of the ribbons, laces and furbelows ensued. Asbury took the part of the girls, and let 
fly at the dandies in the Conference. He arose amid the debate, and said that he preferred the 
women even in extravagant dress rather than to see a preacher walk into the Conference room 
"with fair top boots, red morocco straps hanging down to his ankles, and a great gold watch and 
seal dangling from a fob.'' Dr. Bennett, who records this incident, observes "this gave a quietus 
to the debate, we presume.'' A safe conjecture. McAden, at his first Conference, saw the grand 



10 SKETCHES OF THE VIRGINIA CONFERENCE, 

old apostle of American Methodism, and saw too the mincing fellows in " fair top boots," badly 
routed by the batchelor Bishop while the belles in ribbons rejoiced at their discomforture. 

The first appointment of the licentiate was Franklin Circuit. It embraced a wide field, pro- 
bably a territory larger than the present Danville District. One year was the custom. So Mc- 
Aden swung around a great circle in a few years. Franklin, Raleigh, Albemarle Sound, Mecklen- 
burg, Portsmouth, Petersburg, Richmond. He had been preaching eight years and travelling six. 
In 1820 he laid aside his saddle-bags for a time. A brief note from this venerable minister, now nearing 
ninety, tells why he ceased to itinerate. There is a subtile humour in the sentence if the reader 
will " mark the phraseology," as Bishop Early was wont to say. " In 1820 I located, it being the 
custom in those days that, when a preacher married, he located as a matter of course." "Tempora 
mutantur." The bachelors now object that the Conference offers a premium on matrimony. In the 
olden time a " man with a family " was at a heavy discount. Among the eighty preachers of the 
Virginia Conference present in 1809, Asbury records with evident satisfaction, "there are but three 
married men." At a subsequent Conference the good Bishop expressed his mind rather freely, say- 
ing from his seat, "I wouldn't give one single preacher for a half dozen married ones." "Under a 
rigid rule of marching men out of the ranks " as a matter of course " when they took a wife, we 
can well account for the zeal of the Norfolk preacher and his brethren in banishing all the bewitch- 
ery of dress from his fair hearers. It was self-defence. 

In a few years Mr. McAden was re-admitted, and has served through a long period, sometimes 
as missionary to the blacks, and then on circuits, and for four years on the Danville District, with 
success in building up the church. Disease now and then disabled him for awhile. He is now a 
superannuate, and far on in years. Yet, despite his age and infirmities, he has attended to four ap- 
pointments a month. His work is nearly done. He opened his commission when the giants of 
Methodism were on the earth. The Church with only one member — a devout woman, Barbara 
Heck, has "become two bands." The venerable man in a note to this writer says: "I am now 
waiting the call of the Master." 



Rev. George -Washington Nolley. 

THIS venerable man, now verging on eighty years, with a service in the ministry beyond a 
half-century, was a son of thunder in his prime, and of tireless zeal. He was a person of 
marked features and manner, tall, robust, brusque and positive, with "a face as the face of a lion." 
Even in his ashes the old fire often kindles. There is a fitness of things in such a veteran living 
near the training school of the sons of the prophets. His residence at Randolph Macon College, 
and the association with the young men preparing for the ministry, will be of enduring gain to them. 
He was born of pious parents, in the county of Mecklenburg, Virginia, on the 25th of Decem- 
ber, 1803. His father, James Nolley, was a native of Greensville county, of the same State, and, 
for several years of the last century, he was an earnest and laborious travelling preacher of the 
Virginia Conference. His health failed him, however, from excessive labors, and he soon retired to 
the local ranks. The mother of Mr. Nolley was originally a Miss Seward, of Brunswick county, in 
his own words, " one of the best women that ever lived." Her remains rest in the soil of that county 
till the morning of the resurrection. 



MfiTtiODISf EPISCOPAL OHtfECH, SOTfflt. 11 

Mr. Nolley received a tolerable academic education in his early life, and he still remembers 
with pleasure, an incident which occurred when he was about twelve years of age, and before he 
embraced religion. His father took him some distance from home to a boarding-school. The 
teacher, an educated Scotchman, examined him to ascertain what progress he had made in know- 
ledge, and among other questions he asked him, " What is religion 1" The youth replied, " It is the 
love of God in the heart of men." He doubts now, after an experience of about sixty years, if he 
could give a better definition of it. 

On the 9th of October, 1819, young Nolley was born again at a camp-meeting in Mecklenburg, 
his native county, and soon afterwards connected himself with the Methodist Church. He devoted 
several following years to the business of teaching school. But it seems that Providence designed 
another field of instruction for him. It is a singular fact, in his history, that, long before he em- 
braced religion, he received the impression that he would become a minister of the gospel. The 
church seems to have had a similar impression, for not very long after his conversion, without any 
application or knowledge of his own, he was licensed to preach. In the fall and winter of 1824 he 
was employed to labor on the Bedford Circuit by the Rev. H, G. Leigh, P. B., in connexion with the 
Rev. William H. Starr, who was then the preacher in charge of that Circuit. In February, 1825, 
he was received on trial in the Virginia Conference and sent to labor on Banister Circuit, embracing 
the lower part of Pittsylvania, and the whole of Halifax county. The most of this county was 
missionary ground, but, with the blessing of God, he succeeded in forming a circuit which has since 
occupied a high position in the Virginia Conference. One incident on this circuit deserves to be 
remembered. The young preacher made an appointment to preach at an old Continental church, 
eight miles out of his usual course. He attended and preached as well as he could to a large con- 
gregation of respectable-looking hearers ; but at the close of the sermon no one asked him to go 
home with him, and take any refreshment or lodging for the night. So he returned, with a rather 
heavy heart to the family which he had left in the morning. Immediately he retired to his room to 
seek some comfort in prayer and reading the Scriptures. Providentially he opened his Bible upon 
the sixth verse in Psalm cxxvi : " He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall 
doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him." This passage gave him com- 
fort and encouraged him to go back to that church again. On this occasion the wealthiest man in 
the neighborhood took him home with him, and would have him preach to his own servants in his 
parlor at night. 

In 1826 young Nolley was stationed on Granville Circuit, in North Carolina. One of the most 
important incidents that occurred on this circuit was the fact, that, from the experience of a pious lady 
given in a class-meeting, on one occasion, he was brought to feel the need, and seek the blessing of 
perfect love, and he never rested till he obtained it. In 1827 he was stationed on Amelia Circuit, 
where there were upwards of two hundred souls converted during'the year. In 1828 he was stationed 
in Norfolk, in 1829 in Baleigh, and in 1830 again in Norfolk. In each of these stations he witnessed 
"times of refreshing from the presence of the Lord." In 1831 he was stationed at Trinity Church, 
in Richmond, which was favored with a good revival in the course of the year. In 1832 he was on 
Princess Anne Circuit ; in 1833 on Caroline ; 1834 on Gates Circuit ; 1835 on Cumberland Circuit ; 
and in 1836 on Buckingham Circuit. In all of these appointments he witnessed displays of Divine 
power in the salvation of souls. 

In 1837-'38-'39 and '40, he was on the Norfolk District. In 1841 he was stationed at Shockoe 
Hill Church, in the city of Richmond. During this year there was a glorious revival of religion in 



12 SKETCHES OF TBE VIRGINIA CONFERENCE 

that church, in which between one and two hundred persons made a profession and joined the 
church, and some are living now, steadfast and useful members. 

In 1842-'43-'44 and '45, he was on the Charlottesville District. In 1846-'47-'48 and '49, he 
was on the Lynchburg District. In 1850 and '51 he was stationed on Chesterfield Circuit. In 1852 
he was stationed -on Louisa Circuit. 

It may be mentioned that, on the last four named appointments, excepting the Lynchburg Dis- 
trict, he purchased and furnished very comfortable parsonages. In 1853-54 he was stationed on 
Hanover Circuit, when, in the town of Ashland, he built and furnished another parsonage. At the 
close of his term on this circuit, he purchased a house for himself and settled his family in Ashland. 
He attended the following Conference, which was held in Petersburg, with some degree of fear 
and trembling, doubting whether Bishop Andrew, who was to preside, would approve of his course. 
He sought the earliest opportunity to state his case to the Bishop. That noble old man replied, 
"Nolley, yo.u have done exactly right, when a man has travelled as long as you have, and has as 
large a family as you have, he ought to provide a home for them and settle them in it." That 
decision of the Bishop removed a mountain from the mind of the veteran preacher — and since then, 
although his family has remained in Ashland, he has not hesitated to receive any appointment the 
Bishop has given him, however distant from home, even down to the shore of the Atlantic Ocean. 

Prom 1854 to 1863 Mr. Nolley was stationed at the African Methodist Church in the city of 
Richmond. He found here a church of one hundred and seventy-five members, and left a member- 
ship of five hundred. 

At the close of the war in 1865, being excluded from his pulpit in Richmond by the Federal 
authorities, he repaired to his old friends on Princess Anne Circuit, then destitute of a preacher, 
and tendered them his services for the remaining part of the Conference year. He was returned to 
that circuit the following year in 1866. In '67 and '68 he was stationed on New Kent Circuit. This 
country was overrun by both armies during the late war. The result was, the churches were mostly 
destroyed, and the people so impoverished that they were not able of themselves to repair them ; but> 
nothing dismayed, Mr. Nolley went into the chief cities of the North, and begged money enough to 
rebuild some houses of worship and repair many others. In 1868 he was stationed on Pasquotank 
Circuit, where he spent a most pleasant year, and witnessed a great many conversions. In 1869 
and 1870 he was stationed in the town of Gordonsville, where he succeeded in completing and fur- 
nishing one of the most beautiful and commodious churches within all the bounds of the Virginia 
Conference. In addition to this, during the last year of his labors there, he had the happiness of 
seeing some thirty or forty persons converted and added to the church. 

Since then, on account of the failure of his health, he has been laid aside from the regular work 
of the ministry. But still he preaches occasionally to his neighbors, and the students of our Col- 
lege in the town of Ashland, where his zeal and example in religious life is " as an ointment poured 
forth." Notwithstanding his infirmities, he has answered to the call of his name on the first morning 
of every Annual Conference for the last fifty-five years, and now in the seventy-seventh year of his 
age, he is waiting for the call of his Master to the Conference and communion of Heaven ! 

He gave considerable aid to the Duncan Memorial Church in that town, by his large and liberal 
collections in different parts of the State. 



METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, SOUTH. 13 



Rev. Leroy Madison Lee, D. D. 

Tl^HE face of Dr. Lee has been made familiar to American Methodism by repeated engravings and 
J. publications. His name is known throughout the Wesleyan world, by prominence in the great coun" 
oils of the church, and by contributions to the permanent and the periodical literature of his denomi- 
nation. To set forth his services, would bring in the history of the church in one of its most event- 
ful periods. The scheme of this book, however, allows only a line where a biographer would not 
be faithful to his trust without giving a chapter. 

In the General Conference he wrestled with the champions from all sections, and not to his 
discomforture. He expounded and defended with signal clearness and vigor, by pen and from the 
pulpit, the polity and doctrines of the church. He ranked with the mighty men of valor in the times 
when there were giants. 

He is the oldest, effective member of the Virginia Conference, and is the Presiding Elder of 
the Richmond District. Age and years of service have smitten his body with disease ; time has not 
marred his pleasing and intellectual features. 

Dr. Lee, son of Abraham and Elizabeth Lee, was born in Petersburg, Virginia, on the 30th of 
April, 1808. His mother, daughter of James and Elizabeth Wheless, was born and grew to woman- 
hood near the town of Enfield, Halifax county, North Carolina. His father, son of Nathaniel and 
Elizabeth Lee, was born in Prince George county, Virginia. He was younger than his brother, Rev. 
Jesse Lee, and older than his brother, Rev. John Lee, who were among the earliest of American 
Methodist preachers, and the pioneers of Methodism in the New England States. His paternal 
grand-parents were among the very first persons to join the Methodist societies in the State of Vir- 
ginia; certainly south of the Rappahannock river ; as they embraced religion and joined society in 
the Spring — April — of 1772, when Robert Williams made his first tour after landing at Norfolk, in 
the Spring of that year. The Rev. Devereaux Jarratt, an evangelical Protestant Episcopal minis- 
ter, entered heartily into the plans of Mr. Williams, and those who came after him ; and as he could 
not open his church to their ministrations, by reason of the yet unspiked canon on its pulpits, he 
fitted up his barn as a preaching place, and for a few years it was on the regular plan of Methodist 
preaching places. But it was, we think, during the Revolutionary War transferred to the residence 
of Mr. Lee ; and continued on the plan of Sussex Circuit, for perhaps thirty-five or forty years, 
until the death of Mr. Lee, and his two sons, Jesse and John, when the church, then and now 
known as Salem, was built and became the home of the society until this day. On the last visit of 
the subject of this sketch, to his venerable grandmother, in the Summer of 1827, he well recollects 
the old pulpit chair, in which Asbury, Coke, Garrettson, Hull, Jesse and John Lee, and their con- 
temporaries, had all stood; and of his own emotions when kneeling before it in private prayer, he 
thought of the great and holy men who had from it preached salvation through the Crucified. 

He was converted under the ministry of Rev. William A. Smith, on Sunday night, April 1st, 
1827, and joined the church, on Sunday after, the 8th. He was appointed leader of a class of vene • 
rable old mothers in Israel, in a few weeks afterwards ; in the month of August he was licensed as 
an exhorter ; and in the same month ventured to take a text, and tried to preach. In November, 
after examination before the Quarterly Conference in Petersburg, he was recommended to be re- 
ceived on trial by the Virginia Annual Conference, and was received with twenty-two other young 
men, at the session of the Conference in Raleigh, N. C, in February, 1828. His first appointment 



14 SKETCHES OF TEE VIRGINIA CONFERENCE, 

was to Campbell Circuit, with Joshua Leigh as preacher in charge. His second year, 1829, was in charge 
of Washington and Plymouth, N. C. ; in 1830, Newbern, N. C. ; 1831 Prince Edward, Va. ; 1832, Brunswick 
Circuit ; 1833 Elizabeth City, N. C. ; 1834 in Portsmouth, Va. ; 1835 Trinity, Eichmond, Va. ; entered on his 
work Sunday, March 2d. On the night of June 20th held a prayer meeting in the basement of the 
church. After midnight the house took, or was set on fire, and was entirely destroyed. He 
remained among his people, preaching as he could, and arranging to rebuild the church. He 
accomplished this, and after the work was advanced, in November he went by sea to Charleston, 
S. C, intending, for the benefit of his health, to spend the winter in St. Augustine, Florida. The 
breaking out of the Indian war in Florida hindered him, and he remained in Charleston until Jan- 
uary, 1836 ; and after a stormy passage of twenty-three days reached Norfolk, when the Conference 
had nearly completed its business. He was surprised to find the Conference had purchased the 
" Christian Sentinel," a paper started in Eichmond in 1832, and that he was to be its editor. He had 
been a frequent contributor to its columns since its origin, and he supposed this induced the selec- 
tion. The Conference had no right or power to appoint an editor ; and his name stands on the 
Minutes as colleague of W. A. Smith, at Trinity Church. The church was finished in June, 1836, 
and he preached one of the sermons at its dedication. It was sold some years after, and turned 
into a theatre. He thinks himself peculiar, that, as a Methodist preacher, he built a theatre. The 
first paper that ever floated his name at its head was issued on the 4th of March, 1836. He con- 
tinued to edit the paper until April, 1837, when his health was so feeble he resigned ; and then, 
until February, 1839, he travelled through the Conference as a means of restoration. In 1839 he 
was unanimously re-appointed to the paper ; the General Conference of 1836 had recognized and 
adopted it as one of the church papers. He remained editor until the Southern General Confer- 
ence of 1858, when he resigned to enter the pastoral work. In November, 1858 he was appointed 
Presiding Elder of the Norfolk District. The war drove him from his district, the day the Federal 
troops entered Norfolk, May 10, 1862. 

At the Conference, November, 1862, he was appointed to Centenary Church, Lynchburg, Vir- 
ginia, and was continued as its pastor until November, 1865, at Danville. Thence he was sent to 
Granby Street Church, Norfolk, where he remained until November, 1867. . In 1868-69, at Union 
Station, Eichmond ; November, 1869, appointed to Eichmond District. In 1874 Presiding Elder of 
Petersburg District. In November, 1877, returned as Presiding Elder to Eichmond District. 

He was a member of the General Conference of 1844, in New York, at which the church was 
divided. A member of the General Convention in Louisville, Kentucky, 1845, at which the Metho- 
dist Episcopal Church, South, was organized ; and has been a member of every General Conference 
of the church since its organization. He was chairman of the Committee on Itinerancy at each 
session from 1850 to 1866, inclusive, and at the sessions of 1870 and 1874 chairman of the Com 
mittee on Episcopacy. 

On the 10th of July, 1834, he and Miss Nancy Mosely Butler, of Elizabeth City, N. C, were 
united in holy wedlock ; and on the 22d of November following she passed away from earth calm, 
tranquil, and happy, leaning upon the true and faithful promises of the Beloved. 

On the 30th of November, 1836, he was again married to Miss Virginia Addington, of Norfolk, 
Virginia. She bore him nine children, six sons and three daughters. Two of these died in infancy, 
and one in early womanhood. Four sons and two daughters survived her. Her youngest child 
was nearly fifteen years old at the time of her death ; her youngest daughter has married and died 



METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, SOUTH. ' 15 

since the death of her mother. Mrs. Lee died suddenly, in the absence of her husband from home, 
on the 19th of March, 1872. 

About 1834, a volume, made up of contributions to the " Christian Sentinel," in. 1832, entitled 
"Advice to a Young Convert," was published on the. recommendation of the Virginia Conference. 
In 1847, " The Life and Times of Jesse Lee." In 1854-'5, " The Great Supper not Calvinistic." 
Finished, but not published, a work on "Infant Baptism;" "Distinctive Baptist Principles ver- vs 
Distinctive Bible Principles. "The Dispensation of the Spirit." Of lesser works, "A Tract on 
Confirmation." " On the Final Perseverance of the Saints." Of reviews : " Calvin and Servetus.'' 
"The Life and Writings of Arminius.'' "Pulpit Hermeneutics." " The Restoration of the Jews." 
" John's Baptism." Of miscellaneous writings: " The Shoemaker of St. Austell." "A Dream of 
Wealth." "A Letter from an Infidel." "The Two Mothers; or, the Mischiefs and Miseries of 
Making Bills," &c, &c. 



Rev. Samuel Tucker Moorman. 

ON Sabbath morning an old man with bundles of religious papers can be seen bending his steps 
towards the State prison in Richmond, Virginia. He is of large frame, yet stooping with weight 
of years. His face, lit up with a "light never seen on land or sea," tells of a Divine radiance 
from within. Behind him follows an ever-faithful companion — his little dog. The Methodists of 
the city know them well. This volunteer chaplain to the Virginia penitentiary is Samuel T. Moor- 
man. Without money and without price, he visits the prisoners and proclaims the liberty in Jesus 
Christ. 

He is beyond, by nearly a decade, the allotted time to man. His ear is dull and he is almost 
cut off from the commerce of social life by his deafness. Domestic afflictions have burdened him 
for years. In all this he sinned not, nor charged God foolishly. With his own hand he ministers to 
his helpless household. 

By the old Methodists in the country Samuel Moorman is remembered as a man of considerable 
power in the pulpit, full of zeal, and of saintly life. He has served in the various positions of a 
Methodist Itinerant Missionary to the colored people, on a circuit, in town, in city, in the eldership, 
covering a period of thirty-nine years. He was licensed to exhort by the Rev. W. H. Starr in 1824. 
In 1828, at Raleigh, N. C, he was admitted on trial into the Virginia Conference. Bishop Soule 
ordained him Deacon in 1830. Bishop Heddings laid his hands on him as Elder in 1832. 

He is a native of Campbell county, born April 15, 1803. His parents were Methodists. They 
so taught him the way of the Lord that he was religiously inclined from early years. At a camp- 
meeting at Limestone Spring, Campbell county, he was converted in 1822-. 

Having served his own generation, he is now ripe for heaven. 



16 SKETCHES OF THE VIRGINIA CONFERENCE, 



Rev. James Jamieson. 

THE picture in the first group, over the name of Jamieson, represents to us a face of a benignant 
old man, and with marks of native endowments of intellect. The lineaments of the Scotch are 
there. In the meridian of life the features must have been assuring to an audience of a strong, 
sensible, sermon. 

Mr. Jamieson has held different stations : circuit work, Eldership, College President and mem 
ber of famous General Conferences. He has quit himself of his charge with advantage to the 
church and honor to himself. The signs of an apostle has attended his ministry. He is in the effec- 
tive ranks after a campaign of over half a century. 

He is the son of Andrew and Elizabeth Jamieson ; was born in Augusta county, Virginia, April 
4th, 1802. On his father's side he was of Scotch-Irish descent, on his mother's, English. His 
father when young emigrated from the north of Ireland to the State of Pennsylvania. There he 
married Miss Elizabeth Davis, and moved to the Valley of Virginia, where they raised a large family. 

While a student in a classical school near Waynesboro', under the management of Rev. James 
Wilson, a Presbyterian minister, Mr. Jamieson, professed religion and joined the Presbyterian Church. 
In the early part of 1827 he took charge of a school in Patrick county, Virginia. While residing there 
he decided, after much reflection and prayer, to enter the ministry. Believing, after a careful examina- 
tion of the doctrines of the Methodist Episcopal Church, that they harmonized more fully with the 
teachings of the Scriptures than those of any other church with which he was acquainted, he joined the 
Methodist Episcopal Church, 1828. After a few months he obtained, from the Quarterly Conference 
of the Franklin Circuit, license to preach the Gospel, and in 1829 he was received on trial by the 
Virginia Conference in Lynchburg, Virginia. His first year was spent on Brunswick Circuit, with 
Rev. W. H. Starr, preacher in charge ; his second on Boanoke Circuit, North Carolina ; his third and 
fourth years on Granville Circuit, North Carolina. In 1833 he was stationed in Charlottesville and 
Scottsville. At that time there was no Methodist church in Charlottesville ; but by the kindness 
of the Episcopalians he was allowed to occupy then church during the year in connection with 
Rev. William Hammett, then chaplain at the University of Virginia. They started a subscription 
which resulted in the' erection of a Methodist church. In 1834-5 he was stationed in the city of 
Raleigh, North Carolina ; 1836 he was sent as Presiding Elder to Newbern, North Carolina ; in 1837 
when the Conference was divided, he was sent as Presiding Elder to the Newbern District, and thus 
became a member of the North Carolina Conference, in which he remained until he was transferred 
with the Danville District, 1858, to the Virginia Conference ; 1841 he was sent to the Raleigh Dis- 
trict ; 1845 to the Danville District ; in 1848-9 he was connected with Greensboro' Female College 
as one of its instructors ; in 1850 he travelled on the Greensboro' District ; in 1851 he was stationed 
in Greensboro' ; in 1852 in the city of Wilmington. The next two years he spent on Franklin Cir- 
cuit ; 1855 he was appointed* President of Danville Female College, and remained in charge of that 
institution until 1862. The College, under his administration, enjoyed a high degree of prosperity 
till the war broke out in 1861. In 1862 he bought a farm and settled in the county of Mecklenburg, 
and by the advice of Bishop Early, he remained on his farm without any regular work till the close 
of the war. In 1865 he had charge of Patrick Circuit, where he spent a pleasant year among the 
friends and pupils of his early manhood. Many of his former friends had passed over the river to 
the promised land. 1866-7 he was Chaplain at Randolph Macon College. The next four years he 



METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, SOUTH. 17 

was on the Danville District. In 1872 lie had charge of the Boydton Circuit ; the three following 
years he was stationed in the town of Boydton; 1876 he was sent to Clarkesville, and is now there 
his third year. 

He was a member of the General Conference, 1840, in the city of Baltimore, also in 1844 in the 
city of New York, and in 1846 in the city of Petersburg. 

During his long and active ministry he has been in many revivals, and has seen many precious 
souls converted and brought into the fold of Christ. 



Rev. William Brooking Rowzie. 

AMONG the two hundred ministers of the Virginia Conference, William B. Rowzie would catch 
the eye as the man of most apostolic appearance and senatorial mein. He is of stately pre- 
sence, with a chiseled face, and a certain kindness and gravity of expression, while his voice, 
measuring words of wisdom, adds to the noble figure. "What the eye sees is but the outward sign of 
inward virtues. He is a model of a Christian gentleman. 

He has graced and used to the general good of his church many of its important positions. 
The choice of our General Superintendents for thirty-six years, fell on him for the office of Presiding 
Elder. This statement is a wealth of praise to his capacity, discretion and fidelity. He has sat in 
the General Conference, counselling wisely for the Connection. At home, with equal wisdom, he has 
been the patron and friend to our educational institutions, exerting himself in securing thousands 
and thousands of dollars for their endowment. A high, pure, noble man is William Brooking 
Rowzie. 

' '.: He was born in the county of Essex, State of Virginia, on the 22d day of February, 1806. 
His father was a descendant of a Huguenot family, the followers of Victor Hugo, a celebrated 
■ French reformer. His early ancestors fled from France after the bloody tragedy of St. Bartholo- 
mew, came to Virginia, and located themselves in Essex county, near the Rappahannock river, where 
the family remains to this day. His mother was of English descent, dwelling in the same county. 

He was the oldest son of nine children. His parents were moderately independent, living con- 
tentedly and comfortably on a small farm of four hundred acres of land, cultivated by the family 
servants. 

His educational advantages were not of a high order. His only means for the acquisition of 
knowledge were the schools and academies in the county in which he lived. Here he made himself 
acquainted with the English language, geography, arithmetic, and geometry. With this preparation he 
was sent forth to contend with the trials with which he might meet in running life's devious course. 

His parents taught him to reverence and study the Holy Scriptures from his boyhood. 
His religious education was greatly improved by his early connection with an Episcopal Sunday 
school, originated and superintended by Hon. James M. Garnett. He regularly attended the minis- 
try of the Protestant Episcopal Church until his seventeenth year, when he first formed the acqain- 
tailce of "the Methodist ministry. 

Dr, William I. Waller was the first minister of that church, with whom he was at all intimate. 
3 



18 SKETCHES OF THE VIRGINIA CONFERENCE, 

He was a man of decided talent, and considerable attainments, and an interesting preacher. His 
colloquial powers were of a high order. One of his chief characteristics was the interest he mani- 
fested in the young men of the country. His fine social habits, and his edifying discourses very 
greatly attached them to him, and were instrumental in his leading many to Christ. 

Dr. Waller was succeeded on Hanover Circuit by. Eev. Eobert Wilkerson and Rev. William S. 
Peyton, two young men, full of faith, and of the Holy Ghost, who preached the Word with power 
and demonstration of the Spirit. Their ministry resulted in a revival, in which six hundred persons 
professed faith in Christ. 

Associating with these young men, he became deeply interested on the subject of religion, and 
on the 3rd day of July, 1826, he was happily converted. He united himself with the Methodist 
Episcopal Church, and commenced a life of usefulness. His first efforts were to induce his intimate 
friends to abandon sin, and turn to Christ. He represented to them the importance and necessity 
of a genuine conversion to God. He held prayer meetings, and exhorted his friends and neighbors 
to flee the wrath to come, and almost before he was aware of the tendency of his life, he was earn- 
nestly engaged in preaching the gospel. 

At the time of his conversion Hanover Circuit in circumference measured four hundred miles, 
with an appointment to preach for every day in the week. Its members in society numbered four 
hundred. At present the same territory numbers seven circuits, and its numerical strength is about 
three thousand — a nett gain of seven hundred and fifty per cent, in a half century. 

He was received on probation into the Virginia Annual Conference held in Lynchburg in Feb- 
ruary, 1829. The candidates received at that Conference numbered seventeen, of whom only four 
remain, viz: Bishop D. S. Doggett, Eev. James Jamieson, Dr. William Carter, and Eev. William B. 
Eowzie. 

Eev. Albert G. Burton, of the class of 1827, died in the zenith of his early life, at" Carrol- 
ton, Mississippi, in the midst of a fine revival, the result of his industry. He was on a visit to his 
mother at the time of his death. He promised to occupy a high position in the church. Hie min- 
istrations were intellectual and powerful. 

Another member of the same class, a young man of large promise, was William Kenningham, 
who died early of consumption. He was justly entitled to the epithet of the Summerfield of the 
Virginia Conference. 

Both of these young men lived and walked by faith in the Son of God. In this lay the great 
secret of their success in the ministry. In this was the hiding of their power. 

During the period of his ministry, Eev. William B. Eowzie occupied the following circuits and 
stations, viz : Gloucester, Culpeper, Columbia, Prince Edward, Chesterfield, Greensville, Mecklen- 
burg, Hicksford and Charlotte Circuits, and Eandolph Macon and Trinity stations. He was Presi- 
ding Elder on the following Districts, viz : Petersburg, Lynchburg, Fredericksburg, Danville and 
Alexandria. For fourteen years he was agent for Eandolph Macon College, Buckingham Female 
Collegiate Institute, and the Wesleyan Female College, at Murfresboro', eastern North Carolina. 



METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, SOUTH. 19 



Rev. James Andrew Riddick. 

11HE likeness on a foregoing page will bring to mind of many of the older Methodists in South- 
. side Virginia and in Eastern North Carolina the face of one now numbered among the Old 
Guard of the Conference. Time has been gentle to him. It is almost incredible that features so 
fresh and ungrooved, have braved the storms seventy years. Age has not dimmed the luster of the 
eye, nor added an acid to the genial heart. A sunny, quick, charming veteran was before the 
camera when that photograph was made. 

He was born in the county of Gates, near Sunsbury, North Carolina, on the 13th of Septem- 
ber, 1810. Born again and joined the church at a camp meeting in the neighborhood, in the month 
of October, 1827. On the mother's side, he is a descendant, in a direct line, of the old Alston 
family of North Carolina. 

The Eiddicks in several counties of lower Virginia and North Carolina are a numerous class of 
people, and have branched off to such an extent, that many of them claim no kinship at all. For 
many years they were a gay and worldly people, with little predilection for the claims of religion, 
but at present many of them are zealous members of the church, and at least four of them are 
preachers of the gospel. The subject of this sketch was the first of the name to become a minis- 
ter and member of the Virginia Conference. 

He received the best education that the neighboring schools afforded at that day ; and in his 
sixteenth year went to Suffolk, Virginia, to become a clerk in the mercantile establishment of his 
brother-in-law, James McGuire. Here he was brought in contact with the most favorable religious 
influences. James McGuire was distinguished for his piety and liberality, and his house was the 
welcome home of Methodist preachers. Here the old veterans of that day used to linger and rest 
for months at a time. The venerable Dr. Daniel Hall spent much of his time with the family, and 
it was here that the subject of this sketch formed the acquaintance of Rev. Melville B. Cox, and 
became intensely exercised with the desire of going with him to Africa. It was here he met, occa- 
sionally, such of the old divines as Bishop McKendree, Henry Holmes, H. G. Leigh, Ethelbert 
Drake, Benjamin Devaney, Martin P. Parks, and others. 

It was at this friendly house that William A. Smith met for the first time Miss Miller, a youth- 
ful female preacher of considerable attraction and intelligence, who afterwards became his first wife. 

With such associations young Riddick became imbued with the Spirit of Christ, and the spirit 
of preaching. But for the present he shrunk back, from a sense of his insufficiency. 

In 1831 he removed to Brunswick county to engage in the mercantile business with his brother, 
who had already gone to the same county. Here it was his good fortune to come into contact with 
that good man, John Wesley Childs, who encouraged and confirmed his purpose to prepare at once 
to travel and preach. 

After great agony of mind he closed his business and went with Childs to Conference at Nor- 
folk, in February, 1832, and took an appointment under John Early, as Presiding Elder, and was 
sent to help Jesse Powers on Amelia Circuit. 

At the ensuing Conference, held in Petersburg, February, 1833, James A. Riddick was received 
on trial, and sent as assistant with John H. Watson to Prince Edward Circuit. 



20 SKETCHES OF THE VIRGINIA CONFERENCE, 

In 1834 he was put in charge of Mecklenburg Circuit, where he had much success and large 
revivals of religion, assisted a part of the year by James E. Joiner. 

• In 1835, his third year in the Conference, he was appointed to Shockoe Hill, in the city of Rich- 
mond, and for seven years following he continued to fill some of the most important stations in the 
Conference. 

At the Portsmouth Conference of 1842, his health having declined a good deal, he asked for 
a country appointment, and was sent to Amelia Circuit, where he commenced his labors ten years 
before, and has never desired a town -appointment since. 

During this year he was happily married to Miss Judith A. Gregory, a young lady admirably 
suited to the itinerant work, and has always been very popular among the people as a preacher's wife. 

He has since filled the following appointments : 1843-4, Charlotte Circuit ; 1845, Amelia Cir- 
cuit again. For several years after this he took no work on account of ill-health. 

In 1850 he resumed his labors, and was assigned to Amelia Circuit for the fourth time. Prom 
this circuit he was appointed to the old Randolph Macon District, where he remained four years. 
At the request of some of the trustees of Murfreesboro' Female College, he was then made Presi- 
ding Elder of the newly formed district called Murfreesboro. 

Having served here for four years, he was appointed to Sussex Circuit in 1859 and '60, which 
brought Viim to the beginning of the late calamitous war. 

In view of declining health and the lengthening shadows of life, he took a supernumerary rela- 
tion at the Conference of 1861, and settled himself on a farm at Stony Creek, "Virginia, on the Pe- 
tersburg and Weldon railroad, where he was marvelously preserved through the whole war, and 
where he continues to live in much comfort, discharging the duties of a minister in the surrounding 
country, as health and strength may permit. 

The Rev. J. A. Riddick has always been classed among the best business men of the Conference, 
and although frequently urged to become an agent for colleges, and the book business, he has inva- 
riably declined on the ground of his preference for the regular pastoral work. For a number of 
years, he 'was secretary of the Virginia Conference Missionary Society, and assistant secretary of 
the Conference. He considers that he received a series of the best appointments that the Confer- 
ence afforded, and has no cause to complain on this score. 

And in addition to this, he considers himself greatly blessed in his domestic relations, having 
one of the best wives in the world, six daughters — three married and three single — and one only 
son, James Gregory, born on the day of the Bethel fight, 10th June, 1861, now in his 18th year, a 
member of the church, and doing well, at Randolph Macon College. 

His old friends will pray that he may live in peace, and go down to his last resting place, as 
one who wraps around him the drapery of his couch, and lies down to pleasant dreams. 



METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHVECS, SOUTH. 21 



Rev. Joseph Lear. 

FEW in the Conference have studied the Scriptures with wiser eyes than the minister whose name 
is at the head of this sketch. Despite the arduous claims and toil of the itinerant, he has re- 
deemed the time for study. Self-taught, he has become a classical scholar, and has examined the 
sacred writings with something of critical accuracy, bringing out whatever of meaning lay yet un- 
folded in the original. Mr. Lear has been a reader. In his happiest moods, it is rare to hear so 
true exposition, and so apt use of literature, as flows from the sermons of this preacher. As Bacon 
says, he is a "full man." His conversation is singularly instructive. 

Mr. Lear's ministerial life reaches back to 1833. In all the forty-seven years, the testimony 
from every field of labor enhances his reputation as a man of God of purest life, and with a single 
eye. God has given witness to his preaching. He is a devout man. 

His father, John Lear, was born in Italy and lived in that country until he became nearly,- or 
quite grown. Being a strong man, fearless in disposition, and fond of change and adventure he 
traveled much, and passed through various changes of home and of fortune, until he finally settled 
in Fredericksburg, and there kept a fancy store. As he spoke several languages, he was frequently 
an interpreter for foreigners, who visited that place. The mother of Mr. Joseph Lear was Alice 
Doggett, and of English descent, but born in Lancaster county, near Kilmarnock, and reared up on 
Carter's creek. Thence, after the death of her father, she removed to the home of her guardian in 
Fredericksburg, and there was married to his father. 

Mr. Lear was born in Fredericksburg, Sunday, February 10, 1810. In early life he became a 
Christian, through no sermon or exhortation of others, but only through the example, instruction 
and influence of a pious mother and friends. He was licensed to preach in 1833, joined the Vir- 
ginia Conference February, 1834, and was appointed to what was then called Columbia Circuit, 
which was formed of appointments in both Fluvanna and Louisa, and in 1835 to Smithfield. In 
February, 1830, he was ordained deacon in Norfolk, and appointed to Trent Circuit in North Caro- 
lina ; and in 1837 to Essex ; in Richmond, February, 1838, he was ordained Elder, and appointed 
to Elizabeth City, N. C, since which time, having received help from God, he has continued his 
labors through every successive year to this hour. God has given him to see fruits of his ministry. 

Mr. Lear married judiciously a lady of superior endowments. The Rev. W. W. Lear of the 
Virginia Conference is his son. 



22 SKETCHES OF TBE VIRGINIA CONFERENCE, 



Rev. John Ellis Edwards, A. M., D. D. 

IN the space of a handsbreadth we set down what is rather like a leaf of " contents " to a volume 
than the record of a busy and extended public life. Any paragraph of this sketch could be 
unravelled and knitted into a engaging narrative. On this page has been gathered a plexus of the 
strands woven into the church-life of Methodism hi Virginia and North Carolina far on towards fifty 
years. 

It has been said that John Randolph could have written the Childe Harrold. The tropical 
fancy of Dr. Edwards and his tuneful periods suggest that under favoring auspices he might have 
matched with Moore in Lallan Rookh and the Irish Melodies. In social life the preacher has exercised 
a similar charm with the poet. 

Rev. John E. Edwards, son of Thomas and Susannah Edwards, was born in Guilford county, 
North Carolina, August 1st, 1814. On his father's side- he is of Welsh descent, on his mother's of 
Swedish blood. His early education was received principally among the Quakers. laving, as his 
parents did, in the neighborhood of the New Garden Quaker school, he spent four or five years, 
first and last, in that institution. He professed conversion at a camp-meeting, held at Centre camp- 
ground, September 11th, 1832 — joined the Methodist Episcopal Church, and soon became exercised 
on the subject of entering the ministry. April 7th, 1834 he was licensed as a local preacher, and 
spent the remainder of that year on the Iredell Circuit as assistant to Rev. Joshua Leigh. Feb- 
ruary, 1835, he joined the Virginia Annual Conference, and entered on the regular work of an 
itinerant preacher. At the time of the division of the Virginia Conference in February, 1837, he 
was appointed to the Raleigh ' ircuit, and thus fell into the North Carolina Conference. In this 
Conference he spent eight years, being stationed one year in Beaufort, on the sea-shore. One year 
on the Roanoke Circuit, when it embraced Warren and Halifax counties, with not less than twenty- 
two regular appointments. Warrenton, Halifax and Enfield, (small towns,) were all in this big 
circuit. The .membership was large, and represented millions of dollars. The pastor was a married 
man with a wife and one child to support. His allowance was $440 for the year — and, by an extra 
effort at a fifth quarterly meeting, the entire amount was raised, with a surplus of four or five dol • 
-lars the whole of which, in the liberality of the stewards, was paid over to the preacher. In 1841 
and 1842, Mr. Edwards was stationed in Newberne, where very great revivals attended his ministry. 
A new house of worship was nearly completed when he left that charge. A protracted attack of 
of typhoid fever left Viim broken down in health. During the year 1843 he did no regular work. 
In 1844 and 1845 he was stationed in Raleigh. At the close of his pastoral term in Raleigh, he was 
transferred, by special request, to the Virginia Conference, and stationed at Centenary. Since 
which time, up to this present writing, his ministry has been confined exclusively to the cities of 
Richmond, Norfolk, Petersburg and Lynchburg. Twenty years, first and last, in Richmond ; four 
years in Norfolk, four years in Petersburg, and six years in Lynchburg. In Norfolk he was con- 
nected with the building of Granby Street church. The Market Street church, in Petersburg, was 
built mainly by his efforts. Trinity church, in Richmond, was carried to its completion, just after 
the late war by him, while he was pastor in Richmond. Centenary church was enlarged and re- 
modeled, at an expense of $25,000, while he was in charge of that station from 1872 to 1876. Park 
Place church, in Richmond, was also built under his pastorate. 



METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, SOUTH. 23 

The subject of this sketch received honorary degrees of A. M. and D. D. from Eandolph Macon 
College. In 1856 Dr. Edwards travelled in Europe, and on his return published a book of travels, 
which had a fine run. A recent traveller says it is on sale in London, having gone through several 
editions in England, and sought for by tourists. 

He is the author of the life of Rev. John Wesley Childs ; and also of a small book styled " The 
Confederate Soldier." Besides these works, he has published a considerable number of tracts, lec- 
tures, addresses, and other miscellaneous matter. 

Dr. Edwards has been a member of the General Conference at each quadriennial session from 
1858 to 1878. His whole ministry has been devoted to the pastoral work. He lectured on Mental 
and Moral Science for two years in the Petersburg Female College, while at Market Street church 
in 1859 and 1860. He, with Dr. D. S. Doggett, (now Bishop,) originated and edited " The Episco- 
pal Methodist,'' for one year just after the termination of the late war. He has never been Presiding 
Elder, or agent of any sort. Persistently, he has refused to be professor, or president in colleges. 
It is reported of him that he has never failed to receive every dollar of his salary as pastor, from 
his first entrance on the ministry up to date. There is scarcely a gray hair on his head. His health 
is good. He performs all his work with the unabated vigor and freshness of his earlier years. 

As the reader advances in the sketches he will notice a number of preachers brought into the 
church under the ministry of Dr. Edwards. 



Rev. Robert Michaels. 

IN Amelia county, Virginia, fives this apostolic man, zealous in the service of Christ beyond 
strength of body, " faint, yet pursuing." For years tortured with neuralgia in the face, the 
nerves burning like strands of heated wire, yet patient and pressing forward all the while. "With 
other disorders hindering and hurting him, he will not keep silent from proclaiming the grace of 
God to the people. His presence is a sermon. His discourse stirs his hearers. 

He has served faithfully and well in different positions. He expounds clearly and with unc- 
tion, rising at times to thrilling and mastering eloquence. There has never been a trace of ambition 
in his long career. He followed the injunction : In honor prefering one another. His Conference 
made him a representative to the General Conference. The Bishops used him in cities, on districts, 
in circuits. He is enshrined in the affection of his brethren. 

» After much urging a short memorandum was obtained from his pen. Our readers will thank 
us for its insertion here. 

"I was born in the town of Manchester, February 12th, 1812. My parents' names were Philip 
and Mary Michaels. My father was of German descent, my mother was of English. My education 
was such as could be received in schools of the day. It was my fortune to be under the guidance 
of the late Walter C. Day, a better instructor than whom it would be difficult to find, especially in 
classical studies. In these I took great delight, never abating my researches therein while my 
school life was continued. While my father made . no profession of religion, he was sternly moral, 
and exacted from his children obedience to its principles at all times. It was my happiness to have 



24 SKETCHES OF THE VIRGINIA CONFERENCE, 

the guidance of, and to be blessed with the example and counsels of a godly mother, but she was 
removed to another home, when I was but about twelve years old. Yet she ever lives, in her life 
and lessons. Although thus highly favored, I do not remember any period of my life, till I was in 
my twenty-second year, when I felt strong awakenings on the subject of religion. At that time I 
lived with my father in the county of Henrico, but hearing that an extensive revival was in progress 
in Manchester, and that a number of my friends and school-mates had been converted, I felt that 
the time had come when I should seek the pearl of price. My exercises were painful and protrac- 
ted — I sought with all my might, but not through faith — but as it were by the works of the law. 
My agony was indeed intense. At that time the venerable J. Boyd was Pastor of Shockoe Hill 
church. To him I opened my mind, and he pointed me to Christ as all-sufficient to save all who 
trusted in Him. From that time my mind and heart were stayed on Him, and Him only for salva- 
tion. And soon I was enabled to rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory. My joy indeed 
was full. My soul was satisfied. I had not then, nor since, a doubt as to my conversion. I very soon 
felt that it was my duty to preach the gospel, and being duly recommended, received license to 
preach, and traveled one year under the Rev. Moses Brock, at that time Presiding Elder of the 
Richmond District. My first field of labor was the New Kent Circuit. 

"The next year I was received on trial into Conference in 1836. Though at no time have I en- 
joyed- robust health, even through my entire life, yet, I have continued in the regular work of an 
itinerant preacher, with but little loss of time, till within the last few years. 

"My itinerant life has been divided about equally between circuits, stations, and the eldership ; 
and in every field of labor I have had cause to rejoice in seeing the word of the Lord glorified in 
the salvation of sinners. 

"In looking over my life, I count nothing in it worthy of mention, but that part of it spent in 
the work of the ministry. And now that my term of activity is closed, I have no regret that I 
entered on the work of an itinerant, only that I did not more fully meet all its demands. With all 
the lights I have, the Bible, the lives of other itinerants, and my own experience, I think the life of 
an itinerant preacher promises as much good to mankind as any other field we may occupy." 



Rev. James Dryborough Lumsden. 

THHIS leaf contains a recital of the "Acts" of an Apostle. Though the record of his deeds has 
J. somewhat of the brevity of Caesar's dispatch, it has also its victorious* accent. Such a roll oi 
achievements under God, would have challenged the admiration of the chief est of the sacred band 
in early Christianity. Paul could not have read of such long service, and with the grace of God 
abounding, in the conversion of hundreds and hundreds, without apostolic commendation. 

"When the great Marius, charged with the war against Jugurtha, was twitted by the patrician 
dandies of Rome, for. want of old lineage, he turning in scorn upon the imbeciles, said that they counted 
many ancestors, but not a single campaign. Lumsden perhaps cannot trace pedigree " to the Arch- 
bishop of Canterbury and back to St. John," but he like the Apostles has made full proof of his 
ministry. God has knighted him on the field of victory. 







Alfred Wiles 



RROUN *. BIERSTADT N 



METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHUECS, SOUTS. 25 

He is the son of William and Agnes T. Lumsden, and born in the city of Edinburg, Scotland, 
November 3d, 1811. His parents immigrated to America in 1817, and settled in Poughkeepsie, 
N. Y. The family removed to Virginia the next year. His father was a Quaker and his mother a Free 
Will Baptist. Mr. Lumsden was converted in Petersburg, Va., under the ministry of the Eev. Wil- 
liam Fammett, September 26th, 1826, and received into full membership by the Eev. William A. 
Smith, in 1827. He was licensed to exhort in 1829, and to preach in 1831, by Eev. G. W. Nolley. 
He had been educated at the Eichmond Academy. On the subject of educational qualification for 
the ministry, Mr. Lumsden says : "Through the persuasion of the Eev. H. G. Leigh, Presiding Elder 
of Petersburg District, I gave up my arrangement to spend two or three years at Eandolph Macon 
College. He assured me that there was no necessity for the delay, and that my education was su- 
perior to his attainments when he commenced his ministry. I yielded to his judgment, but have 
regretted the mistake all my life, not that I would have been wiser, but I could have done my work 
easier to myself, and perhaps more satisfactorily to my hearers." 

He was sent to Greensville Circuit in 1836, Person Circuit 1837. In January, 1838 he was re- 
ceived into the North Carolina Conference at Greensboro', and was ordained deacon by Bishop Mor- 
ris. That year he travelled Mattamuskeet Circuit, where four hundred persons were converted. 
In 1839 he was stationed in Washington, N. C. During that year a hundred were brought to the 
Saviour. In 1840 he was ordained Elder by Bishop Morris in Newberne. He served two years 
(1840-1,) in Salisbury, N. C, with a considerable accession to the church; 1842-3 Guilford Circuit 
In this work over four hundred were converted. He was assigned to Eockingham Circuit in 1844, 
where nearly four hundred made a profession of faith. There were also on the Davidson Circuit in 
1845 a numerous ingathering under his ministry. In 1S46-7 there was a great out-pouring of the 
Spirit in Stokes. The next two years saw a like increase on Iredell ; also in Wilkes during 1850 ; 
next year Eandolph witnessed the conversion of hundreds. There was good success in 1852 on 
Alamance. 

In November, 1852, Mr. Lumsden was transferred to the Virginia Conference, and placed on 
the Murfreesboro' Circuit, where numerous conversions occurred, likewise on Gates the next year. 
In 1855-6 Campbell Circuit, one hundred and fifty conversions ; in 1857-8 Princess Anne, three 
hundred conversions ; 1859-60 Pasquotank, nearly the same number made profession ; in 1860 Mat- 
thews, where God blessed his labors during the fearful years of war. He witnessed many stirring 
scenes. In 1864 Pasquotank in two years witnessed nearly four hundred conversions. In Novem- 
ber, 1866, Hertford Circuit, continued success ; 1869, Hampton and York, many were brought to 
know their Eedeemer. In 1871-2 Indian Eidge, one hundred converts ; 1873, Norfolk Circuit ; 1874 
Chuckatuck, a number converted on each field ; 1875-6 Meherrin Circuit, with good harvest each 
year ; 1877 Mount Pleasant Circuit, with some gain ; 1878-9 Wicomico, with revivals and additions. 

During the forty three years of his ministry there have been between four and five thousand 
conversions. 

He was married April, 1832, by Eev. Minton Thrift, in Petersburg, Virginia, to Susannah Poy- 
thress Andrews, daughter of James and Mary Andrews, who died in triumph April, 1836 — was mar- 
ried again August 20th, 1840, to Mrs. Elmira Harris Brandon, of Eowan county, North Carolina, 
who passed through all the changes of the itinerancy until March 28th, 1875, when she ascended 
in triumph and full assurance of faith to her home in heaven. He was again married to Miss Sallie 
Sykes, daughter of Britton Sykes, of Northampton county, North Carolina, October 17th, 1876, 
4 



26 SKETCHES OF THE VIRGINIA CONFERENCE 



Rev. Leonidas Rosser, A. M., D. D. 

AN outline is drawn by these lines of a remarkable man — an editor, author, orator, and evange- 
list. His books have been read by thousands ; his voice is familiar in many States ; his con- 
verts number twice ten thousand. A man of culture and energy. He has been honored repeatedly 
by a seat in the Methodist' senate, and time and again as an adviser of the Bishops. His tall figure, 
full flowing gray locks, patriarchal beard, face of intense gaze, bring to mind the picture of an old pro- 
phet, who, with "wild hair floating on the eastern breeze," beholds 

" In outline dim and vast, 
Their fearful shadows oast, 
The giant forms of empires on their way 
To ruin." 

Leonidas Kosser was born in Petersburg, Virginia, July 31st, 1815. His parents were Thomas 
and Christina Elizabeth Eosser. He was converted on the pulpit steps in the old Methodist church 
on Union street, Petersburg, in October, 1828. Called to preach in 1834 ; was, preparatory to 
preaching, imm ediately sent to Wesleyan Academy, Wilbraham, Massachusetts. Having spent 
*a year and three months, entered Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut, Dr. W. Fisk, Pre- 
sident, 1835, and graduated in full course in 1838, putting the collegiate course into three years. 
After graduation joined the New York Conference on trial, had charge of "Weather sfield, Connecti- 
cut, and remained nearly two years, and was transferred home to the Virginia Conference in 1840 ; 
having had about fifteen hundred souls converted under his ministry at the North. 

In 1841 and 1842 he was junior preacher on Charlotte Circuit, and had in his own meeting in 
two years one thousand souls converted. In 1843 he was Chaplain to the University of Virginia, 
and at same time was pastor of our church in Charlottesville. In 1844 with one hundred members 
from Trinity church he organized and had charge of Union Station, in Richmond ; preaching first 
in a school-house on Union Hill, then built a church, which was afterwards sold, and the present 
house of worship erected. In 1845 and 1846 he was pastor of Trinity church, where he had exten- 
sive revivals each year. In 1847 and 1848, he was pastor of Warrenton Circuit. Here he had ex- 
tensive revivals, and built several churches. In 1849 was pastor of Bedford circuit, healed a diffi- 
culty of years' standing and restored the grand old circuit to harmony. In 1850 and 1851 he was 
pastor of our church in Alexandria, and built the present church edifice there. In 1852 he was 
pastor of our church in Washington City. In 1853 Presiding Elder of Fredericksburg District. 
In 1854, 1855, and 1856, Presiding Elder of Norfolk District. In 1857 and 1858 Presiding Elder 
of Lynchburg District. In 1858 he was elected Editor of the Richmond Christian Advocate, re- 
signed in 1860. In 1861 was pastor of Union Station, Richmond. In 1862, 1863, and 1864, was 
general Missionary to Ewell's corps, in the Confederate army, and within the fortifications around 
Richmond — during which time he had two hundred soldiers converted under his ministry. In 1865, 
1866, 1867, 1868, he was Presiding Elder of the Richmond District. In 1869, 1870, 1871 and 1872, 
he was Evangelist, by vote of the Conference, and appointment of the Bishop, under cover of Sun- 
day School Agent of the Virginia Conference. In 1873 Presiding Elder of the Randolph Macon 



METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, SOUTH. 27 

District. In 1874," 1875 and 1876, Evangelist again by authority as above. In 1877, 1878, and 1879, 
Presiding Elder of Kandolph Macon District, where he is now. 

Up to the present time, he numbers about twenty thousand souls converted under his ministry, 
including about five thousand while Evangelist. He received the degree of Doctor of Divinity from 
Emory and Henry College in 1858. He is the author of six works: "Baptism," "Experimental 
Eeligion," "Eeplyto Howell's Evils of Infant Baptism," " Class-Meetings," and "Open Commun- 
ion." The first, "Baptism," has reached its fourth edition; the second its sixth edition; the third 
the seventh edition. He is now preparing one hundred of his revival sermons for the press, and has 
ninety ready for publication. His chief delight is in revivals. He was elected to the General Con- 
ference of 1850, 1854, 1858, 1862, and 1866. He was offered "charge of one of the principal churches 
in New Orleans, which he declined. In 1860 he was offered by Bishop Pierce the superintendency 
of Missions in California, which he accepted, but which in consequence of the impending war he 
afterwards declined. 



Rev. James Christopher Garlick. 

THE subject of this sketch began the work of the ministry forty-odd years ago. His labor has 
not been without the divine blessing, having passed through gracious revivals in most of the 
fields assigned him. He has been a supernumerary for some years. By a defective vision he is 
prevented from doing active service, cherishing still an earnest desire to be useful as long as life 
lasts. 

He was converted at a camp-meeting in the county of Caroline, Virginia, when but a boy, but 
being from home, at school, he did not connect himself with the church in several years. "When a 
revival occurred at Powell's Chapel, he was renewed in faith by the Holy Ghost, and received into 
the church by Rev. S. T. Moorman. 

In the Fall of 1837, at a quarterly meeting on King and Queen Circuit, he was licensed to 
preach, Rev. Henry B. Cowles, presiding. The year after he travelled Campbell Circuit, with Rev. 
Humphrey Billups, and joined the Virginia Conference at Edenton, N. C, in 1839, and was appointed 
to Albemarle Circuit. In 1840 he travelled Columbia Circuit; in 1841 Amherst, and returned in 1842, 
but by request of Rev. H. B. Cowles, was sent to Greensville Circuit, which needed the services of 
another preacher. This was a large field of labor extending from Gholsonsville, Brunswick, Vir- 
ginia, to New Hope, Northampton, N. C. Rev. Joshua Leigh was the preacher in charge. The 
circuit was visited that year with a glorious revival, and many accessions to the church. The work 
at Rehoboth was especially of great power. In 1843 he travelled Mecklenburg, 1844 Scottsville. 
He was stationed in Williamsburg in 1845 ; in 1846 he served Matthews Circuit ; in 1847 Randolph 
Macon ; in 1848 was stationed in Parmville ; in 1849 in Suffolk ; in 1850 he was assigned to West- 
moreland; in 1851 Hanover, and in 1852 to Greensville. At the ensuing Conference, being unable 
to travel, he was given a supernumerary relation, which he sustained to the Conference for several 
years, when he was placed on the superannuated list, which relation he now holds, preaching as his 
health will enable him to do. 

He is a son of Camm and Mary Garlick, and was born in King William county, Virginia, Decem- 
ber 12th, 1813. On his father's side he is of English descent, on his mother's of Italian. 



28 SKETCHES OF THE VIRGINIA CONFERENCE, 



Rev. Hartwell Hobbs Gary. 

IN Piedmont, Virginia, there is a cheerful veteran of Jesus Christ, broken in his service, but still 
not cast down. The fragrance of a rich and beautiful piety goes out from his faithful soul. He 
lives in the affection of his brethren. The church is his debtor for zeal and successful labor in the 
days of his strength ; and in the evening of his life, his prayer for the prosperity of Zion ascends to 
God. His attachment to Methodism is deep and abiding. He is saluted at the Conference with 
tender regard. % 

He is a son of .William and Dorothy Gary ; was born in Chesterfield county, Virginia, Septem- 
ber 10th, 1811. Beared by pious parents, he was early impressed with the importance of religion 
but unfortunately like many others he postponed his return to God until nearly grown. During the 
great revival of religion, which took place in Chesterfield Circuit in the year 1830, under the minis 
try of Eevs. Anthony Dibrell and Jesse K. Powers, in which more than five hundred souls were con 
verted he embraced religion, and immediately connected himself with the Methodist Episcopal 
Church. He soon became exercised upon the subject of preaching the pospel, but for the want of 
educational qualifications he was kept out of the ministry for several years. 

In the year 1834 he went to Eandolph Macon College, where he remained four years. In June, 
1838, at a quarterly meeting, held in the College Chapel by the Eev. Lewis Skidmore, he obtained 
license to preach, and also a recommendation to the Virginia Conference as a suitable person to be 
received into the traveling connection. He traveled under the Presiding ' Elder on Mecklenburg 
Circuit, the remainder of the year. In February, 1839, at a Conference held in Edenton, N. C, he 
was received into the traveling connection, and sent to Caroline Circuit. In 1840 he was in charge 
of New Kent Circuit ; 1841 Williamsburg and Hampton ; 1842 and 1843 Nelson ; 1844 and 1845 
Buckingham ; 1846 and 1847 Scottsville ; 1848 and 1849 Westmoreland ; 1850 and 1851 Eastville. 
He was returned to Caroline in the following year, and in 1853 and 1854 sent to Powhatan. He 
was Presiding Elder on Lynchburg District in 1855, but his health having failed about the middle 
of the following year, he was compelled to leave the district. His health still being feeble, he took 
no regular work until 1858, when he was sent to Fluvanna, where he remained only one year. In 

1859 he had charge of the agency for the Book and Tract Society of the Virginia Conference. In 

1860 he had charge of Nottoway Circuit ; in 1861 he was returned to Scottsville, where he remained 
two years. From 1862 until 1868, his health would not justify his taking regular work ; but in 
1868 his health having improved he was in charge of Batesville Circuit, where he remained four 
years. In 1872 he returned to Fluvanna, and in the following year he had charge of Scottsville for 
the third time, where he remained two years. In 1875 and 1876 he returned to Nelson Circuit. 
While on that circuit his health gave way completely, and from that time to the present writing 
(1880,) he has sustained to the Conference a superannuated relation. 

He is trying to grow old gracefully and to bear his afflictions patiently, in hope of a glorious 
reward beyond the grave. 



METBODIST EPISCOPAL CHVBGB, SOUTH. 29 



Rev. Jacob Manning. 

A STRANGER looking upon the face of this man would trust himself or his treasure to him. The 
character shines in the features. The soul has set a true index oh the forehead. The veneer 
of the social diplomat may imitate, but cannot equal the genuine frankness and worth of the best 
type of Christian gentleman. 

Mr. Manning has been employed in all the departments of the active ministry through a series 
of years. His aptness in rightly dividing the word, his fidelity as a pastor, discretion as a counsel- 
lor and success in winning souls, have given him a sterling value in the Conference and in the cabi- 
net of the Bishops. He is the beloved disciple. 

Jacob Ma nnin g was born near the city of Baltimore, Maryland, on the 14th day of January, 
1816. The religious instructions, godly example, and earnest prayers of his Christian mother, (his 
father died when he was an infant,) together with the salutary influence exerted upon his mind and 
heart by one of the most ably conducted Sunday-schools in the city of Baltimore, were instrumen- 
tal in his conversion at the age of fifteen, when he became a member of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church. 

For several years before he had reached the age of manhood, his thoughts were directed to the 
Christian ministry as the work to which his life should be devoted, but lack of opportunity for 
literary culture was the occasion of many doubts and much hesitancy. One of his earliest efforts 
at speaking publicly to his fellow men in rggard to their salvation, made to the convicts at the Mary- 
land penitentiary, resulted in the conversion of one of the inmates. This incident tended largely 
to confirm him in the persuasion that it was his duty to preach, and was the occasion of his giving 
to the question a close and prayerful examination, resulting in a clear conviction, which has never 
been obscured by the shadow of a doubt. 

Having been informed that in the Virginia Conference there was an urgent call for young men 
for the ministry, he determined to offer himself for that work- And at the Conference for 1839, 
held in the town of Edenton, North Carolina, he was admitted on trial as a travelling preacher. 
During the preceding year he had been employed on the Louisa Circuit, as the colleague of "William 
H. Starr, the memory of whose fatherly care and valuable instructions has been always cherished 
with the deepest affection. 

He served in the following appointments : 1839, Culpeper and Rappahannock circuit ; 1840-41, 
Williamsburg and Hampton circuit ; 1842, Farmville six months ; Charlottesville six months ; 1843, 
Farmville ; 1844, Randolph Macon College ; 1845, Randolph Macon circuit ; 1846, Albemarle cir- 
cuit ; 1847, Richmond, Trinity ; 1848, Richmond, Centenary ; 1849, Richmond, Trinity ; 1850, 
Louisa circuit ; 1851, Portsmouth, Dinwiddie circuit ; 1852-3, Richmond district ; 1854-7, Char 
lottesville district; 1858, Alexandria station; 1859-60, Lynchburg, Court street; 1861-2,, Amherst 
circuit ; 1863, Cumberland circuit ; 1864-'5, Prince Edward circuit ; 1866, Richmond — agent for the 
Sunday-school society ; 1867, Richmond, Sidney and Oregon ; 1868, South Bedford ; 1869, Rappa- 
hannock district ; 1870-3, Charlottesville district ; 1874, Amherst circuit ; 1875-6, Farmville sta- 
tion; 1877-8, Eastern Shore district; 1879, Smithfield and Benn's; on districts 13 years; on sta- 
tions 12 years ; on circuits 15 years, making in all 40 years. 



30 SKETCHES OF THE VIRGINIA CONFERENCE, 

In reverting to the influences by which his character as a minister was formed, and his life was 
directed, he mentions, in a note to the editor, with much affection his connection by marriage with a 
lady, Miss Spooner, of Charlottesville, Va., whose rare endowments, intellectual, moral and spirit- 
ual, rendered her not only a' charming companion, but a most efficient helper in his great work. 

He adds that, deeply lamenting his ministrations have not been productive of a larger amount 
of good to the souls of his fellow-men, he rejoices in the assurance that they have not been without 
encouraging manifestations of the divine blessing. 

In reviewing the forty years spent in this work, the only feeling of regret or sorrow he now 
realizes results from the consciousness of his unfaithfulness in the work, and not from the conse- 
cration of his life to it — a consecration which he would gladly make if he were now required to 
choose for another term of the same duration, which should be the work of his life. 



Rev. William John Norfleet. 

1"\HE Virginia Conference owes to the great Commonwealth of North Carolina a large score for 
. the number of excellent ministers in our ranks who are natives of this State. The reader of 
these pages will note the contribution. 

Among the accessions from North Carolina, the subject of this sketch may be counted. "Whether 
in the social circle, or in the church, he has honored his sacred calling and added another name to 
the long roll of noble Carolinians. The picture on a foregoing page shows a face of native dignity 
and tried worth. 

His parents were James and Mary Norfleet. He was bom in Edenton, N. C, March 8th, 1815; 
His educational advantages were limited to a primary school, and an academy in his- native 
town. 

Before he was two years old, he was left an orphan, but was in the hands of Christian relatives, 
who trained him up in the church of his parents, who were among the first members of the Metho- 
dist church in Edenton. 

His religious convictions date back to the summer of 1829, when under the ministry of the Eev 
James Dey, he became a penitent at the altar in that city ; but not being satisfied of his conversion 
he did not join the church until January, 1831. 

On the 16th day of February, 1839, he was licensed as a local preacher, by the Quarterly Con- 
ference of Edenton station, and was employed by Eev. G. "W. Nolley, Presiding Elder, a part of that 
year as assistant preacher on the Princess Anne circuit. He commenced his work in August at a 
protracted meeting, conducted by the local preachers at Cuthrel's, near the Great Bridge. That 
meeting was a great blessing to him. He was encouraged. God attested his call and gave him 
many souls to his ministry. 

He was received on trial in the Virginia Conference at its session in Farmville, February, 1840, 
and was assigned to Smithfield circuit, with Bev. Joshua Leigh as preacher in charge. This was a 
large circuit, embracing the counties of Isle of Wight and Surry, with some appointments in Souths 



METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, SOUTH. 31 

ampton, Sussex, and Prince George. His next appointment was Farmville station in 1841. At the 
close of that year he was elected to deacons' orders and received into full connection. He was re- 
turned to Smithfield circuit, which had been reduced in size, and made a compact little circuit with 
eight appointments. During the next twenty years he filled the following appointments consecu- 
tively : Amelia, two years ; Lunenburg, one year ; Gloucester, two years ; Gates, two years ; Suffolk, 
two years ; Elizabeth City, two years ; Nottoway, one year ; Murfreesboro, one year ; Pasquotank, 
two years ; Edenton, station, one year ; and Edenton mission to colored people, four years. 

On the Murfreesboro circuit, his health began to fail, and on Pasquotank circuit his health was 
so enfeebled, that at the next Conference he asked a supernumerary relation ; but at the solicitation 
of his Presiding Elder, he withdrew his request, and consented to take Edenton station. In all 
these circuits and stations God gave him success in winning souls, and in several of them there 
were gracious revivals, and very many souls converted to God. 

At the Conference of 1862 he was placed on the Supernumerary list, which relation he sustains 
at this time. 



Rev. Willi am Wallace Bennett, D. D. 

IN the paragraphs succeeding, is an epitome of the life and labors of the minister who was chair- 
man of the Virginia delegation in the last General Conference, and is the President of the oldest 
Methodist College in the South. He has prepared works of enduring value, revived from ashes the 
Richmond Christian Advocate, hazarded his life by sailing through a blockading squadron, in the 
hope of gathering in England Bibles for the Confederates, made campaigns in and out of the State 
for a college endowment, with all tokens of a complete success, besides spending successful and 
arduous years in the pastorate and eldership. His ability in the pulpit, in debate and with the 
pen are well known in the church. 

He was born in the city of Richmond, Virginia, February 24, 1821, and reared under the influ- 
ence of Methodist teaching and preaching of the old school. Converted in Portsmouth, Virginia, 
in 1839, under the ministry of that excellent man of God, Rev. Gervas M. Keesee. Received on 
trial in Virginia Conference November, 1842. In 1843-44 in Louisa circuit as junior preacher with 
Rev. Francis S. Mitchell. On Bedford circuit in 1845 as junior preacher with Rev. B. H. Johnson. 
On Powhatan in 1846-47. Stationed at Charlottesville 1848-49. Studied at the University of 
Virginia in 1850, and graduated in several schools the same year. Stationed at Washington city in 
1851, the first preacher in charge of the newly formed Southern Church. 

In 1852 was appointed chaplain to the University of Virginia; but after partial service com- 
pelled to resign on account of failing health. On Loudon circuit 1854-'55. Presiding Elder on 
the Washington district from 1855 to 1861 ; at Centenary, Richmond, 1862-63 ; superintendent of Sol 
diers' Tract Association, and chaplain in Southern army to the close of the war. Ran blockade at 
Charleston in the winter of 1865, and visited England to procure Bibles for the Southern army. 
On Nottoway circuit 1866. In 1867 appointed editor of the Richmond Christian Advocate, and 
continued in that office until 1877, in which year elected President of Randolph Ma,con College. 



32 SKETCHES OF THE VIRGINIA CONFERENCE, 

Received honorary degree of D. D. from said college in 1867. Author of " Memorials of Methodism 
in Virginia," " Narrative of the Great Revival in the Southern Annies during the late Civil War be- 
tween the States," " A History of Methodism for our Young People." A member of every General 
Conference since 1858. 



Rev. John Martin §aunders, 

HAS genial Saunders an enemy in the world ? An old man, as years go, but young in spirit as 
a boy, and with a face un wrinkled by time. How fond was Duncan, (whose like we shall never 
see again,) of his cheery and mellow friend ! And how Bishop Peirce, at our Conferences, was 
pleased when a cover was laid for Saunders at the dinings, and how he, our Chrysostom, (the " gold- 
en-mouthed," by the way, slept with comedies of Aristophones under his pillow,) was regaled by the 
quaint, often tearful humor of the preacher, full of Irish blood. 

The early years of Mr. Saunders mark the bitter period of orphanage. Parents, uncle, aunt 
and brother were in the grave while he was yet a little child. The hand of avarice and cruelty 
wrought its pitiless will upon him. The story of these sorrowful days demand the pathetic pen of 
a Dickens to portray them. The Father of the fatherless led him to the Sunday-school of Cumber- 
land Street Church, Norfolk, where he continued and advanced from the primary class to the super- 
intendency. 

He was converted under the ministry of Dr. W. A. Smith, and joined the church in his seven- 
teenth year. He was placed under the spiritual direction of Andrew Scott, the Great Heart of that 
day, whose sunrise class-meetings on the Sabbath were means of great grace. 

The old time leader was a theologian. He expounded and illustrated the doctrines of the 
church. Under such tutelage the young man was well grounded in divine knowledge. 

The Rev. D. S. Doggett, now Bishop, succeeded Dr. Smith in the pastorate at Cumberland 
street. He took the young Christian by the hand and aided him in following the call of God to the 
ministry. For eighteen months in his study the pastor taught Mr. Saunders daily in the English 
branches, and started him in the classics. 

Mr. Saunders was licensed to preach during the pastorate of Dr. Waller, the successor of Dr. 
Doggett, and was put in charge of a large colored congregation. He at the same time attended 
school, and used his advantages to improve his knowledge of the dead languages. He became the 
assistant of Dr. Waller at Trinity, Richmond. In 1842 he was admitted on trial into the Virginia 
Conference, in a large class, of which four only remain on the roll. In these thirty years Mr. 
Saunders has not had a week's vacation, nor any serious affliction, working on circuits, stations and 
in the eldership. He began under Rev. J. W. Childs, on Cumberland circuit in 1832, and in 1880 i§ 
serving the people of Brunswick. 

He was bom in Norfolk, Virginia, 23d April, 1817. 



METHODJST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, SOUTH. 



Rev. Edward Portlock Wilson. 

FOR thirty-six years he can tel] the text of every sermon preached by him, and where and how he 
spent every day — a man of method. In all his long service to the church he never solicited a 
position — -a true itinerant. Honor and place must come unsought. In boyhood he was tormented 
by the insects along the coast, and plodded in the mud of Piedmont Virginia where a circuit then was 
nearly equal to our small districts now. In middle life he travelled as Presiding Elder, a territory 
extending from the crest of the Blue Ridge to the waters of the Chesapeake Bay, preaching at nearly 
every church. A majority of the Methodists in the Conference have heard him from the pulpit, 
while thousands on thousands outside of our church have been listeners to him. There is something 
in the man, or in the manner, or in the matter, or in all, that fastens his words on the memory. 
Tears and years after a sermon, men have called up certain parts of it ; and yet there is nothing ec- 
centric or peculiar in his discourse or delivery. The thoughts stand out without haze. The truth 
is pressed home with directness. The effect is enduring. He has both gathered fruit and left a 
ripening vintage for his successors. He is wise in counsel and unwavering in friendship. The 
heart of his brethren "safely trust in him." 

Our readers will relish the choice paragraphs touching his call to the ministry and his first cir- 
cuit. It will bring up kindred memories to many in the clerical ranks. , He says : 

"During a gracious revival of religion in Portsmouth, Virginia, I was converted, the 13th day 
of November, 1839 — the centennial year of Methodism. I was received into the Methodist Church 
by that godly man, Rev. G. M. Keesee, who was stationed in Portsmouth at that time. Some 
months after I joined the church, my mind became exercised upon the subject of preaching, during 
which time I suffered intense mental anxiety. I turned in every direction to find relief from these 
anxious thoughts, but found none. There were several other young men who joined the church 
when I did, who were also exercised in the same way, among them Dr. W. W. Bennett, and we often 
met and conversed on the subject and prayed for divine direction. I wanted simply to know my 
duty. I trembled at the thought of entering the ministry without being called of God. I felt that 
I was somewhat in the attitude of the Israelites when they were at the Red Sea — Pharaoh and his 
host were behind them, and the Red Sea before them — they were afraid to go forward, and also 
afraid to go back. They must stand still and see the salvation of God. I resolved to stand still 
and see the salvation of God, for I was afraid to go forward, and yet afraid to go back. I deter- 
mined to stand and see, and if God should divide the waters by clear, providential indications, I 
would walk on over. This resolve brought relief. I was willing to be led in the path of duty. 
The Holy Spirit I felt had moved me, and now as I stood waiting for the waters to be divided, the 
Church, without a knowledge of my impressions, so far as I know, now united her voice with that 
of the Spirit, and she called me to go forward. I dared not refuse. As I stood waiting the develop- 
ments of Providence, I was appointed the leader of a class of colored people, which I led every 
Sabbath morning before breakfast, in the Old Methodist church, on Glasgow street. I would not 
be surprised if the shoutings of my sheep, broke in upon the slumbers of many a Sabbath morning 
sleeper. Through the solicitations of Rev. Vernon Eskridge, and perhaps at the suggestion of 
others, I consented to be licensed to exhort, which license bears date July 1st, 1841, given by Rev. 
5 



34 SKETCHES OF THE VIRGINIA CONFERENCE, 

G. W. Langhorne, then in charge of the church in Portsmouth. In November, of the same year, 
the Virginia Conference held its session in Portsmouth and a preacher was sent to Connecticut 
Mission. He refused to go. I was urged to take his place. Having received a message from the 
Presiding Elder, through Bro. Eskridge, and having submitted to the guidance of Divine Provi- 
dence in this matter, and regarding this demand made upon me by the Church as a strong indica- 
tion that it was my duty, I dared not refuse, though trembling with embarrassment, in view of the 
responsibility imposed upon me, and the magnitude of the work committed to me, I was licensed to 
preach to meet this command. Rev. G. W. Langhorne was sent to the Norfolk district that year, 
and my license bears his signature, and is dated December 28th, 1841. 

" I went to Currituck in the winter of 1842. I preached my first sermon on Eoanoke Island. I 
spoke with liberty, and satisfaction to myself ; and as I rode home with the steward in his little 
cart, I told him I had never preached before. ' Well, said he, if you had not told me, I never would 
have known, or thought it.' I was much gratified and elated. On I went to my next appointment, and 
announced my text — and a grand one it was — and commenced to preach, but, oh ! such a failure — 
can I ever forget it ! My heart sank within me — I was filled with shame and confusion. I sighed 
and prayed. My next appointment was coming on — what should I do ? I began to think, I have 
run too fast — perhaps God has not called me after all. O how I suffered ! Under the heavy pres- 
sure of my failure, and doubts as to my call to the ministry, I began to think about returning home, 
but I must meet my next appointment. The time came. I went into the woods and fell on my 
knees, and asked God to show me my duty — that if I was called to preach, to give me a sign ; 
and if not, convince me of the fact, and I would go home. With a heavy heart I entered the pul- 
pit and commenced. Soon God unloosed my tongue. When I finished I invited sinners to come 
forward to be prayed for, and a number came and bowed at the altar of prayer, among them some 
of the most hardened and hoary-headed sinners in the community. . Prom that time I took courage 
and went forward." 

About the Spring of that year Rev. W. H Starr came to the mission to travel with him, for 
whom he formed a strong attachment, and whose memory he ever cherishes. He was indebted to 
him for his godly admonition, and for kind but free criticism. This year he waded through swamps, 
and over mud roads — fought musquitoes and stinging flies, and bilious fever, ague and fever, 
slept in open houses, and was in perils often. Some scenes and incidents seem too ludicrous to 
mention. 

In November, 1842, he was admitted on probation in the Virginia Conference, held in Peters- 
burg. He was sent to the Culpeper and Rappahannock circuit — the top of the Blue Ridge, the 
other extreme of the Conference — with Rev. H. D. Wood, as his colleague. Here they had a gra 
cious revival of religion. In 1844 he travelled the Sussex circuit, with Rev. J. W. White as col 
league, a man of blessed memory. Here, too, was a gracious work. 

In 1845 Mr. Wilson traveled Cumberland circuit, with Rev. John Hall as his colleague. In 
1846 Bedford circuit, with that holy man, Rev. J. W. Childs. They had twenty-two appointments 
in twenty-eight days, with a membership of between eight hundred and one thousand persons. 
That year Wilson got, as a single man, about |75 in money. The same territory is now occupied 
by about five pastoral charges, with as many married preachers. At the close of this year he mar- 
ried, and was ordained Elder by Bishop Capers, at Randolph Macon College, near Boydton. The 
next year he was sent in charge of Hanover circuit, where he remained two years. The next field 



METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, SOUTH. 35 

for two years was Northampton circuit, N. C, where God mercifully blest his labors. He was then 
assigned to Prince Edward circuit, then to Nottoway for two years, and then to Prince George. He 
was appointed to the old Eandolph Macon (now Farmville) district. Thence he was sent to 
Trinity station, in Eichmond, where his labors were blessed, but his health declined. He then 
traveled the old Fredericksburg district, in his own conveyance, and on horseback, between four 
and five thousand miles in one year, and preached at nearly every church on the whole district. 
Gracious revivals, and some awful displays of Divine power marked the year. On one occasion a 
man was taken, in warm weather, under preaching, with such a terrible shivering, that he declared 
he had a chill, and got his overcoat, and put it on, but that did not stop it. It was the Holy Spirit 
shaking his guilty soul. During the three years on this district the health of the Elder failed. At 
his request Bishop Early put another man in the position. 

At the next Conference Mr. Wilson asked for a transfer to the Florida Conference, but the 
Bishop declined to transfer him, through the influence of the Conference, for they desired for him 
a supernumerary relation, with the privilege of a journey South for his health. He then went to 
Florida, and attended the session of that Conference, held in Monticello, Bishop Pierce presiding. 
The Bishop stationed him in Jacksonville, the largest town in the State. During the Spring of 
that year the war began. At the close of the year, with improved health, circumstances seemed to 
indicate that he should return to Virginia. He ran the blockade in a steamer up the Florida coast, 
and landed at Savannah, Ga. He was continued at the next session of the Virginia Conference in 
the supernumerary relation, but that year elected and appointed, without an application on his part, 
chaplain in the Confederate service. The commission, now in his possession, Mr. Wilson intends to 
hand down to his children. Though in form a supernumerary, for two years, he was actively en- 
gaged in the work of our itinerant ministry. Owing to protracted and severe domestic affliction, 
' he resigned as chaplain in the army, and was sent to Northampton circuit, N. C. , where he remained till 
the close of the war ; and at the succeeding Conference was sent to the Norfolk district. At the 
close of his first year on that district he was sent to the Petersburg district, in consequence of his 
wife's extremely bad health ; but before removal he was called to mourn over her departure from 
earth. He traveled the Petersburg district four years, during which time he married the second 
time. He served the Hicksford circuit one year, and Sussex circuit three years. From this circuit 
he went to the Eandolph Macon district. At the expiration of the third year on this field of labor, 
he was returned to the Petersburg district, his present position. 



36 SKETCHES OF THE VIRGINIA CONFERENCE, 



Rev. John David Southall. 

n^HEEE are few who would not be won at first glance by the manly and kindly face of Southall. 
J_ The souFof the man looks out of his open countenance. A blind man would trust him if he 
once heard that rich and mellow voice. The cashier of a bank, in a strange city, would pay with- 
out proof of identity, if Southall presented a check. 

He is six feet, and likely a trifle beyond, of broad shoulders, and erect, grave, graceful car- 
riage. He has, however, been a victim of disorders, through some years. His friends are strongly 
attached to him. He grows in their esteem. He, as the phrase is, lasts well. God has honored 
his ministry. Revivals follow his preaching. The church is built up. He is a sweet singer. At 
Conference, as the Bishop ends his sermon, there is a wish for Southall to lead in song. If from 
the back seat in the corner, that voice, sweet as Orpheus' lyre, begins " Jesus, lover of my soul," 
tears start, and sometimes a shout. 

He is a son of Henry Southall, M. D., and Rebecca R. Southall, and was born in Surry county, 
Virginia, on the 18th of August, 1824. His father died when he was but a child ; and his mother, 
after remaining a widow for several years, was married again to Dr. Cary Wilkinson, of Charles 
City county, Virginia. The family, after residing awhile in said county, finally settled in Peters- 
burg, Virginia. In Petersburg Mr. Southall was mainly educated, and for several sessions was a 
pupil of Francis Major, deceased, who taught a large and flourishing school for some years on 
Union street, opposite the Methodist Church. "When about sixteen years of age he left school to 
engaged in mercantile pursuits, and was employed for several years as a clerk in several mercantile 
establishments in that city. His mother being a member of the Tabb Street Presbyterian Church, 
.he regularly attended that church, and was a member of the Sabbath-school. In the year 1840 a 
powerful revival of religion occurred in the Methodist church, (Union street,) under the ministry of 
Rev. Anthony Dibrell. Many were converted and added to the church. On one Sabbath afternoon 
Mr. Southall happened to attend the Methodist church, and under a sermon from Mr. Dibrell, of 
great power, he became deeply convicted. At night he was present again, and at the close of the 
sermon, when the invitation was given to penitents to go to the altar, he with many others went 
forward, and for several nights continued to do so, until one night, after a prayer, and just as the 
congregation proceeded to sing : " Jesus, lover of my soul," &c, his heart became strangely warmed, 
and he felt the power of saving faith. He resolved at once to connect himself with the Methodist 
Episcopal Church, which he did on the following Sabbath, and was baptized by Mr. Dibrell, who 
ever afterwards manifested a deep interest in his welfare, and treated him as a son in the gospel. 
Mr. Dibrell was succeeded by Dr. W. A. Smith, who also interested himself a good deal in Mr. 
Southall — appointing him leader of one of the classes at Ettricks, and prevailing on liim to take 
extorter's license. In a short time he became exercised on the subject of preaching, and after a 
severe struggle and prayer, he resolved to devote himself to this work. Accordingly he sought the 
advice of his pastor, procured some books, entered upon a course of study, and endeavored to pre- 
pare himself as best as he could under the circumstances for the life-long work of the itinerant 
ministry. In the Fall of 1841 the Virginia Annual Conference held its session in "Washington Street 
Church, in Petersburg, and at the solicitation of Dr. Smith, and other friends, he applied to the 



METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, SOUTH. 37 

Quarterly Conference to preach — which being granted, he obtained a recommendation and was 
received into the travelling connexion in the Virginia Conference, with some nine others, who were 
received on trial at that session of the Conference, in the nineteenth year of his age. His first ap- 
pointment was to Charlotte circuit as helper to Eev. Jas. A. Riddick, Eev. Jno. Early being Presiding 
Elder of the district. In Mr. Riddick he found a kind friend, a Christian gentleman, and a genial 
and pleasant colleague. And in Mr. Early he also found a firm friend, and a wise and safe coun 
sellor, who was continued in his district until he was elected Book Agent for the Methodist Episco- 
pal Church, South, he continued however his true and faithful friend until his death. Since 1842 
Mr. Southall has been a member of the Virginia Conference, and has been engaged in the regular 
work, except some years, when owing to feeble health, he sustained a supernumerary relation to 
the Conference, preaching in Charlotte county, Virginia, as his health and circumstances would 
permit. 



■ Rev. Willi am Andrew Crocker. 

THERE is no page so engaging as the story of a worthy life. Where unselfish work is done under 
stress of bodily pain and untoward surroundings, the interest is heightened. Mr. Crocker 
pressed forward in his holy vocation, often handicapped by a spinal malady and other ills, some- 
times with nerves almost wrecked, sometimes in the midst of war, and then among the ruins of the 
civil strife. God has owned his faithful servant. The church is his debtor. His sermons have the 
grace and strength that come from study and polish. They are not without the holy unction. 
The Conference love and honor such men. There is a peculiar drawing of the heart toward him 
whose early Christian life has the gentle leadings of Providence, as seen in the lines that follow 
this paragraph. It is better to listen to him than to attempt to narrate in our own words this part 
of the sketch : 

"I was born in Isle of Wight county, Virginia, November 4th, 1825. My father died when I was 
about four years old. His triumphant Christian death, as related to me by my mother, made an early 
impression on my mind. As far back as I can recollect, there was fixed in my mind the purpose to 
be a good man like my father. This pious resolution was cherished and confirmed by her careful 
religious instruction. Recalling the experience of my early childhood, I cannot doubt that I was 
the subject of Divine grace at an early age. I did not, however, make a formal profession of reli- 
gion until the summer of 1841, in the 18th year of my age. This occurred at Bsnns' meeting house, 
near Smithfield, during a revival conducted by Bro. Michaels. Prom a little child I had cherished 
a desire some day to be a preacher. No sooner was I converted than this early wish was revived, 
and the conviction made upon my mind that I must become a minister. There was no doubt on 
my mind that such must be my future calling. I was but a boy, and much preparation was to be 
made, but this one idea was in my mind, and shaped my thoughts and plans. Though not a yet 
a prophet, I felt that I was a son of the prophets, and the spirit of prophecy had fallen upon me. 
In a few weeks after my conversion, I found myself actually engaged in a missionary work among 



38 SKETCHES OF THE VIRGINIA CONFERENCE, 

the negroes of the plantation — reading the Scriptures to them on Sunday evenings around their 
cabin doors, and holding prayer-meetings among them. As the result of these juvenile efforts, a 
most powerful revival took place among them and numbers of our own servants, and others of the 
neighborhood were converted. 

"In October of this year, at my own request, I was sent to Windsor Theological Institute, near 
Baltimore, then conducted by the venerable Francis Waters, D. D. There I remained about two 
years, and such was the ardor with which I prosecuted my studies, that my health completely broke 
down, and I was compelled to return home, and seek recreation, and rest. In the Fall of 1843 the 
■ Virginia Conference of the Methodist Protestant Church was held at Smithfield. My health being 
still too feeble to return to my studies, I was advised by Drs. Thomson and McGuigan, Bro. Whitfield, 
and other leading members of the Conference to enter the itineracy. I was but eighteen years of 
age, and in feeble health, wholly unqualified in my own judgment for so high and holy a calling as 
that of the Christian ministry. I earnestly desired to spend at least three more years in preparing 
for it. But they urged that it would be a benefit to my health, and was in the line of my preparation, 
that I might do some good ; and so soon as my health was sufficiently recovered I could return to 
school. Influenced by these considerations, I timidly consented, and was sent to Charles City and 
New Kent circuit, as assistant to Bev. Thos. Taylor. The good people showed me much affection, 
and God blessed my labors greatly among them. At the next Conference I proposed to return to 
school, but fortunately, or unfortunately, God only knows, my brethren would not consent to it, 
and I was thus led from year to year to postpone it until it was too late, and as a consequence, I 
have never realized the hope of my early years, of being an 'able minister of the New Testament.' 

"During the first years of my ministry I was much exercised on the subject of becoming a mis- 
sionary to the heathen. My own church not being prepared to send out any missionaries, I made 
application to the American Board of Foreign Missions, thinking they were organized on the Catholic 
plan of the American Tract Society ; but when I learned from them that I must subscribe to the 
doctrine of Calvinism, I withdrew my application. The hope of becoming a missionary was cherished 
for several years, but in this also I was disappointed." 

He has filled successively the following charges, viz : Charles City and New Kent, from No- 
vember, 1843, to November, 1844; Hampton, 1844-'45 ; Sussex, 1845-46; Abingdon, 1846-47; 
Hampton, 1847-48. In November of this year he was married to Frances K. Jennings, daughter 
of William Jennings, of Hampton. Sussex, 1848-50. From November, 1850, until November, 
1853, on account of the ill-health of his wife, he was left without appointment at his own request. 

In November, 1853, he was assigned to Princess Anne circuit ; 1854-'56 to Heathsville circuit ; 
1856-57, Lynchburg ; 1857-58, Princess Anne circuit ; 1858-59, Norfolk. At the close of this 
year he was so disabled that suspension of ministerial work was a necessity. His nervous system 
was much shattered. He found a suitable retreat on the shores of Currituck Sound, in North Caro- 
lina, where he resumed pastoral work. Dr. McGuigan, the President of the Conference dying about 
this time, he was called upon to fill his unexpired term. The war prevented the discharge of the 
duties of the office and he resigned it, and entered the army as chaplain, and continued to the Fall 
of 1863. Bad health and the exigencies from invasion by the enemy compelled him and his family 

to retire to Campbell county. In 1865 he began to serve his old charge at Heathsville a year of 

remarkable success. " At Fairfield, on the first Sunday in 1866, at the close of the afternoon ser- 
mon, an invitation was given to penitents and sixty kneeled for prayer." A great revival ensued. 
His own heart was blessed during this pastorate. 



METHODIST EPISCOPAL GEUBGH, SOUTH. 39 

At the end of the year, at his suggestion, a needy preacher was put in this place, and he under- 
took to restore the walls of Zion in the ruined town of Hampton, where there was at that time no 
minister either in the counties of Elizabeth City, or "Warwick. One hundred dollars was all that 
could be raised. There was no parsonage. God blessed the effort to rebuild the waste place. In 
1867 eighty were converted. 

In November, 1870, there was a union of the Virginia Conference of the Methodist Protestant 
Church with the Virginia Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. Mr. Crocker, with 
other ministers of the former, received appointments from the latter body, first going to Heathsville 
circuit ; and in 1872 serving on Westmoreland for four years ; in 1876, Presiding Elder Northern 
Neck district. In 18.78 the district was consolidated with Randolph Macon district, and he was 
assigned to Richmond circuit. 



Rev. Alfred Wiles. 

THAT name is the synonym among us for sterling worth, long and successful service, and a 
genuine itinerant. If the reader's eye will turn to the likeness he will see the index of the 
man. The soul beams in that full, open, kindly countenance. The work of God prospers under 
his hand. The people confide in him. He is the minister of good to all his flock. The living listen 
to his words of counsel ; the dying crave his prayers. His purity of life and faithful service honor 
his calling and glorify his Master. 

He was born in Harford county, Maryland, July 12th, 1819. He is of English descent. He 
professed conversion at a camp-meeting held in his native county, near Church ville, August 27th, 
1834, and joined the Methodist Episcopal Church, January 10th, 1835. 

Soon after he joined the church he became exercised on the subject of entering the ministry, 
but having been left an orphan boy when quite young, his education was very limited. So in order 
to carry out the most earnest wish of his heart, he applied himself diligently to study. He devoted 
nearly all of his leisure time to reading and studying Methodist and other theological works. 

In September, 1837, he moved to Baltimore, where he pursued his studies more systematically 
under the direction of his pastors. October 15th, 1841, he was licensed as an exhorter by Rev. 
David Steel ; and January 14th, 1843, he was licensed as a local preacher. 

His health failing from close confinement in the counting-room, he left Baltimore, and traveled 
with Rev. Richard Brown and Rev. David Thomas on Harford circuit from November, 1842, until 
June 8th, 1843, when he was appointed junior preacher on Shrewsbury circuit, by Rev. John Bear, 
Presiding Elder. Here he labored until March 8th, 1844, when he joined the Baltimore Confer- 
ence. In this Conference he spent four years, and traveled as junior preacher, Milton, Luzerne, 
Bloomingdale, and Bedford circuits. 

At the Conference in Baltimore, March, 1848, being in feeble health, he was placed on the 
supernumerary list. He spent the summer in traveling, and was entirely restored. 

Mr. Wiles adhered South under the " Plan of Separation," and joined the Virginia Conference 
of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, held in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, November 1st, 
1848. 



40 SKETCHES OF THE VIRGINIA CONFERENCE, 

In this Conference he has been working for more than thirty years, and has spent from one to 
three years on each of the following fields of labor : Scottsville, Bedford, Westmoreland, Caroline, 
Pasquotank, Prince Edward, Brunswick, Amelia, Chesterfield, Campbell, Lunenburg, Southampton, 
West Charlotte, Prospect, Matthews, Lancaster, Middlesex, Atlantic ; and he is now, after the lapse 
of twenty-four years, on Pasquotank circuit for the second time. 

Since his admission in the Virginia Conference he has worked unceasingly, never having located 
or been placed on the supernumerary list. 

He has been connected with the building of a number of churches, and several parsonages, and 
many old dilapidated churches have been repaired, and again made comfortable for the service of 
God, by his untiring zeal. The blessing of God has rested upon his labors., and revivals have 
generally attended his ministry. On several fields of labor they have been quite extensive. May 
the blessing of God continue to crown his labors with success till he shall be called to reap his 
reward in heaven, 



Rev. Benjamin Franklin Woodward. 

rPHE qualities that make up the true Methodist preacher are seldom united, as they show them- 
J_ selves in the pastor of Manchester. He is welcome always to the social circle, and adds plea- 
sure to every company. His friends are many and steadfast. He has the secret of attaching men 
to him. There is sunshine and frankness in his face. He expounds the Word at once from the 
analogy of Scripture and from experience. He knows whereof he affirms. His voice is as one play- 
ing upon a pleasing instrument. The gift of song has not been withheld. He is the Asaph of the 
Virginia church. Saints have shouted and sinners sank down while he sang. His ministry has been 
crowned with converts wherever he has delivered his commission. His zeal often has outrun his 
discretion — the ardent spirit over-working a feeble body. 

The record of the fiery attacks by Satan on him in early Christian life and ministry has an in 
structive feature. It may strengthen the younger brethren, who hardly can hope to escape the 
malignity and wiles of the devil. We prefer the story shall be in his own language. 

"I was born in New Kent county, Virginia, November 23, 1824, was reared by pious parents. 
Pew men were more careful of. the moral and religious training of their children than was my father. 
As the results of parental fidelity, I can remember no period of my early life in which my mind was 
not deeply impressed with both the truth and necessity of religion. I thought much and deeply on 
the subject when quite young. At the early age of ten years, my mind was fully and distinctly 
made up to be a Christian, and my plans all formed to that end. I often suffered intensely in mind 
from the fear that I might die before I was converted to God. 

"In my sixteenth year I was very powerfully awakened under a sermon by Rev. H. B. Cowles — 
and two days after, on the 11th of August, 1840, was happily converted to God. Of the truth and 
soundness of my conversion I have never had a doubt. From that hour my mind was fully made 
up to live a Christian life, and has never wavered. I also felt a great desire to do good, particularly 
to lead sinners to Christ; — and as I advanced in Christian experience, this desire became stronger 



METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, SOUTH. 41 

each day. I sought to be useful in an humble way by talking to my young friends and the servants 
about their souls. Some of them were thus led to Christ. 

" It grew upon me that God had a work for me to do. The thought gave me great joy. To me 
to preach Jesus was a glorious work. After awhile the general notion began to take definite shape. 
It seemed that it was my duty to preach. This led me to enquire what are the duties and respon- 
sibilities of an itinerant Methodist preacher. I read the Discipline carefully on these points, and 
closed the book, saying, 'I am not equal to the work. ' Who is sufficient for these things V I am 
not. I can never be. I am mistaken in such impressions ;' and tried to put the subject from my 
mind — contenting myself to be useful in the church in an humble .sphere. I found it easier to close 
the book, and say I cannot preach, than to get rid of the conviction that I must preach. I was un- 
willing, and I did not see how God could call such an one as myself to do a work of such magni 
tude and responsibility. I broke my thoughts to no one. I feared all would consider the notion of 
of my preaching preposterous. I fell into doubt and lost my religious joy. • Satan took advantage 
of me and suggested as the cause of my darkness that I had committed a great sin against God. 
I sought relief. It came not. The Tempter urged that I had committed an unpardonable sin— and 
for months together I lived in the bitterness of this state of experience. My suffering defies descrip- 
tion. Deliverance came, but not until I had gained the consent of my mind to do what seemed the 
will of God — to preach the gospel. In the fall of 1843 I was licensed to preach, and the following 
year traveled the Hanover circuit under the Presiding Elder. This was a year of sore conflicts, 
but of many victories and much blessed experience in grace. Souls were converted to God. In 
November, 1844 I joined the Virginia Conference, and was returned to the Hanover circuit, Eev. J. 
A. Brown, Preacher in Charge. 

Mr. Woodward was sent in charge of the York and Warwick circuit. This was a year of hard 
work, and glorious results. A revival began in April, and continued to the close of the year. Many 
were converted and added to the church in 1847 on the King William circuit ; in 1848-9 on King 
George circuit ; 1850-1 on Charles City circuit. In the Spring of 1850 he had a sore conflict in his 
mind as to the propriety of remaining in the itinerant work. He began to think it his duty to re- 
tire and give place to some man who would benefit the church and save souls. He had almost 
reached the point to leave the circuit, when happily the spell was broken, and he was delivered from 
the power of Satan, who had led him well nigh to the brink of ruin. But this terrible ordeal was 
passed — the question was settled. The next year was one of the most glorious in results of any of 
his ministry. 

The following year, 1852, he served in the Union station, where about one hundred were con- 
verted. The labors of this revival, which continued through several weeks, seriously affected his 
health ; and as the summer came on he was so prostrated as to be able to do but little work. At 
the ensuing Conference was made supernumerary, and the following year remained in Richmond in 
connexion with his old charge, Bev. John Bayley, as Preacher in Charge. 

In 1854 he settled in Charles City county ; in 1855 superannuated, and in the following year was 
supernumerary. He taught school, farmed, and served in the pulpit, as health allowed. 

Health regained, he took charge of Chesterfield circuit in November in 1856, and continued for 
two years. In 1859 the Southampton circuit ; 1860 Brunswick. Malaria poison, contracted in the 
lower country, developed and produced physical prostration and unfitted him for work for three years. 
During this period he settled on a farm in Prince George county, Virginia. In 1864, with health 
partially restored, began active work by taking charge of Southampton circuit for three years. In 
6 



42 SKETCHES OF THE VIRGINIA CONFERENCE, 

1868, the Eandolph Macon circuit ; in 1869, the Boydton circuit ; in 1870-1-2, Union Station ; 
1873-'4^'5, Clay street ; and in 1876 was appointed to the Murfreesboro' district ; in 1879, Man 
chester. 



Rev. William McGee. 

THE face of William McGee would arrest attention in any pufpit. There is strength in its linea- 
ments. A gravity and serenity overspreads every feature,. It is the look of a man who has a 
fixed and high purpose in life, and who is pursuing a noble object by worthy means. His voice is 
full and sonorous. The matter of his sermons is well chosen and weighty. The illustrations are apt. 
The leadings of the divine hand in the life of McGee can be traced along the entire pathway. The 
story has a charm in it, and also a lesson of Providence. 

William McGee, is the son of Joseph and Evelina McGee, the former a native of Halifax, 
Nova Scotia, and of Scotch parentage, the latter a native of Albany, New York, whose maiden name 
was Slingerland, indicating a German descent. 

The subject of this biographical sketch was born in the city of Richmond, Virginia, December 
23rd, 1821, where he grew up to manhood. About the age of nineteen, he was converted during a 
meeting held in the old frame building, known as " Union Hill Chapel," then an out-post of Metho- 
dism, and located beyond the city limits. This meeting was conducted by Bev. B. B. Duval. In 
those days Union Hill was sparsely populated, and the pulpit of this out-post was ordinarily occu- 
pied on Sunday afternoon ; but sometimes on a week night. The men who preached here were, 
Bevs. Phillip Courtney, (a venerable father in Israel,) Mordecai Sweeney, and John Woodcock, all of 
the local ranks". Occasionally the preacher in charge of Trinity station, would preach on a week 
night. 

The subject of our narrative had not the advantage of any special religious training — early in 
life he was bereft of both father and mother, thence forward to the time of his conversion, his asso- 
ciations were almost entirely of an irreligious character, and the little religious influence brought 
to bear on him was by the Boman Catholic Church ; hence he grew up without a knowledge of the 
Bible truth, and became both an unbeliever and disbeliever in spiritual realities, so that, when about 
nineteen years old he might be termed an Atheist. It so happened at this time, as if by accident, 
he entered the house of God on a week night, and heard a plain discourse on the narrative of Daniel 
in the lions' den, his attention was arrested, and for the first time the truth of God's existence and 
providence was a reality and conviction ; charmed by the narrative of facts, he said mentally — " If 
there be such a God as the preacher say # s Daniel had, I will make him my God." There and then, 
the first heart-felt prayer was offered, and a sincere religious lif e began. Beturning to his home in 
this state of mind before retiring he knelt in prayer for the first time alone by the side of his bed 
to worship God. It is a remarkable fact that the first flash of divine light brought simultaneously 
conviction, penitence, faith and prayer, which was ever after persistently followed. However some 
days elapsed, ere pardon and acceptance were experienced ; immediately after which, he united with 
the people of God worshipping in " Old Trinity" and was baptized by Bev. Thomas Crowder. He 
recognizes one fact as having much to do in fostering his religious experience ; before taking his 



METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, SOUTH. 43 

seat, after formally uniting with the church, a brother touched his arm and said, " I want you to 
come to my class on Sunday morning." "Where?" said the convert. The leader replied, " Eoom 
No. 4, in the basement of the church." Sunday morning found him in place, and thence onward he 
was a regular attendant on class meetings, and often blessed God for converting him among the 
Methodists, where he found sympathy, support and growth. He had not been a member of the 
church many months when he was appointed to the leadership of a class composed largely of old 
persons ; this class met on Sunday afternoon and was numerously attended by a happy shouting set 
of Methodists. 

Having associated himself with a company of brethren, who held neighborhood prayer-meetings 
in private houses, he was soon brought to the front as an exhorter. Some of the officiary desired 
him to apply for license to exhort, but this he declined, not willing to assume the responsibility of 
the office. About this time it was predicted by some that he would become a- preacher, and at 
times he was approached on the subject, but always sought to turn the minds of such away from 
such thoughts, and was unwilling to indulge thought on this subject himself. There was in his 
mind such a sense of fearful responsibility connected with the office of the ministry that he would 
not allow himself to think of it. 

In the year 1843, (the early part of it,) McGee changed his church relation and joined the 
Methodist Protestant Church. It is not necessary to give a history of the reasons for this action, 
but he was still a Methodist. In July of this year, he was requested by Eev. Thomas Clayton, of 
the Methodist Protestant Church, and in charge of the Charles City and New Kent circuit, to attend 
a protracted meeting in Charles City county. Accepting this invitation, he left his business in the 
city to spend one week in the country, having no possible anticipation of the result. It was a quar- 
terly meeting, and on Saturday the Quarterly Conference licensed him to preach without any knowl- 
edge on his part, and he a perfect stranger to the whole of them. It was done, no doubt, on the 
motion of the preacher in charge and upon his representation of the case. It was really an unheard 
of official act, and must have been without a precedent, and it is to be hoped, not accepted as an 
example. Had McGee been consulted, he would have declined any such honor, and we may suspect 
this was apprehended by Clayton, the preacher in charge, and hence the action as it was. The next 
day (Sunday) was an all day meeting, beginning at 9 o'clock ; on the way to church, Clayton said to 
the young man, I want you to preach at 9 o'clock This was short notice, now 8:30 o'clock, and 
that to a man who had never preached, and who had no purpose formed ever to preach, and knew 
nothing of the Quarterly Conference action of the previous day. However, after a short silence, 
he consented to talk to the people. The talk was acceptable, and there was turn about in the pulpit 
exercises from day to day between Clayton and McGee. The latter left home to sing and pray and 
help in altar work, nothing more. The last thing he suspected was to be made a preacher. The 
meeting in Charles city closed, he was invited by Clayton to go over to New Kent county to attend 
a camp meeting. Having never had such an opportunity, he embraced this to see what a camp 
meeting might be. This was a Methodist Episcopal camp, under the direction of Eevs. George 
Winfree and Eichard Hope, preachers on the circuit. The Presiding Elder, Eev. G. M. Keesee, not 
agreeing to the holding of this camp had made no ministerial supply, and hence preachers were 
few. Therefore the ■ arrival of Clayton was very acceptable. There were present as well as we 
we can gather, the following ministerial supply : Humphrey Billups, probably a local preacher 
at that time, Eobert Armistead, a local preacher from Hampton, Scervant Jones, a Baptist preacher 
from Williamsburg, Thomas Clayton, a Methodist Protestant preacher, Winfree and Hope, preachers 
pn the circuit, and three youngsters, to wit : Benjamin F. W°°dward, John W. Howard and Wm 



44 SKETCHES OF THE VIRGINIA CONFERENCE, 

McGee. The latter was invited to preach in this scarcity of ministerial supply, but he declined , 
saying, "I don't know anything about preaching." The next day the request was renewed and 
urged, and finally agreed to, and the young man made a brief address on the narrative of Naaman's 
cleansing in the Jordan, which Rev. Scervant Jones complimented as a good Baptist sermon. The 
first talk proving effective, the new made preacher was put up once every day thereafter, and always 
with seeming effect. In fact an unusual power attended the young man, both in and out of the 
pulpit, at this camp meeting. Of all he invited to the altar none refused, and of all he talked to at 
the altar, none were left unconverted. This was so observable that he was often in requisition to 
talk to the impenitent and penitent. 

By the time the camp closed, our young preacher was so well harnessed that he concluded to 
go through the campaign of protracted meetings in Charles City, New Kent and James City, and to 
this end purchased a horse and sulkey, and took the field, intending to sell out when the campaign 
ended and return home and to business. But when the last Quarterly Conference convened, he was 
elected a lay delegate to the Annual Conference, and at the same time, without his knowledge, 
recommended to travel hi the itinerancy. His friend Clayton, no doubt, engineered the thing, and 
carried up the recommendation. Having arrived at Conference as a lay delegate, he was surprised 
to hear his name announced among the applicants to be received into the travelling connection, all 
of whom were requested to meet the committee of examination. He attended, was passed, and by 
vote accepted, and when the appointments were announced, William McGee was read out for Hamp- 
ton and Foxhill. He went, still having no definite purpose ; all that had hitherto been done, was 
without consultation or any request on his part, and he allowed himself thus to drift, or be drifted. 
Conference over, he went to Hampton before going to his home ; in Hampton he preached once, and 
went to Richmond to consult his friends as to the future ; they advised him to go on. He returned to 
Hampton and undertook to preach three times a week to the same people. This he found a hard 
work to do, and it was mingled with many tears, sighs, groans and prayers. Finally the year ended 
and brought relief to the preacher by a change of place. The financial results of the first year in 
the itinerancy, was the preacher's board and $75 in cash. He was satisfied, having gained a year's 
study, practice and experience together with added grace. His appointment for the next year was 
to the city of Norfolk, and in view of this appointment he was ordained deacon. This year's work 
was entered upon with many misgivings and tears. There had been no Methodist Protestant organi- 
zation in Norfolk for years, nor had there been any preaching. The house of worship was com- 
monly known as "the Old Theatre," the building having been originally built and used for a play 
house. But in the early history of the Methodist Protestant Church, there being a small society in 
Norfolk, this house was purchased and converted to church uses. During the year 1844, a few per- 
sons joined and organized a Methodist Protestant Church of fifteen members, surely a small audi- 
ence for so large a house. Early in this year, 1845, this house was burned (without any insurance, 
and a debt beside secured by mortgage on the property,) and the little congregation left without a 
church shelter. But being determined, and having a preacher, they were not totally discouraged, 
and set to work to procure another shelter, and in a short time a purchase was consummated of a 
building suitable for public worship, and once again they were under way. Then- endeavors were 
crowned with a gracious revival during this year and an addition of fifty or more members, some of 
them substantial persons. This greatly encouraged both the little church and its pastor, and he 
was returned the next year during which another revival blessed the church with about one hundred 
conversions. At different times McGee was stationed in Norfolk nine years. He was stationed in 
Lynchburg twice, embracing a period of seven years, the last time, during and immediately after 



METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, SOUTH. 45 

the war. He was in Hampton three years at two different periods, closing up the second period 
with the breaking out of the war, and the evacuation of the town. He was on the Smithfield cir- 
cuit four different times, comprising six years ; and one year each on the following circuits : Charles 
City, Surry, and Princess Anne. Thus, it will be seen, he was twenty-eight years a travelling preacher 
in the Virginia Conference of the Methodist Protestant Church. During this period he was for 
several years secretary of his Conference. He served as President of his Conference for three 
years. Was one of its representatives in the General Conference, and also one of its delegates to 
the General Convention of the church, the highest ecclesiastical body of that denomination. 

In November, 1870, the Virginia Conference of the Methodist Protestant Church, united with 
the Virginia Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and since that time, William 
McGee has been a travelling elder in the last named Conference, and has had the following appoint- 
.ments : East Norfolk circuit, Berkley station, Manchester station, Eastern shore district, Elizabeth 
City station, and is at present in charge of Hampton and Foxhill. He has never deviated from the 
strict line of a Methodist itinerant, nor' failed to attend the meetings of the Annual Conference, the 
District Conference and the Quarterly Conference. He has always gone where sent, and tried to 
do what was expected of him, and been honored with many seals to his ministry. 

McGee, travelled five years before marrying, and in the latter part of 1848, was united in mar- 
riage with Miss Martha C. Winfree, of Lynchburg, Virginia, who is still his companion in the 
itinerancy. 



Rev. James Fielding Brannin. 

GENTLE and devoted Brannin ! He had for years the poison of malaria in his veins, and was 
the victim too of a cruel and predatory invading army, yet neither disease nor the ills suffered 
from ruthless soldiery could make morose his amiable spirit, or dim his faith in God. A man pre- 
ferring a quiet corner in the Conference, yet sought out by his brethren, and saluted with hearty 
good will. The flocks he has cared for have in fond recollection his faithful service. He wins their 
love. God blesses the work of his hand. 

He is a native of Fauquier county, Virginia. His birth was on the 6th of April, 1826. His 
father, Fielding A. Brannin, was the grandson of an Lish rebel, and his mother the granddaughter 
of a French Huguenot — the former was driven from his native land by political oppression, and 
settled in what was then Spottsylvania, but now Culpeper county, about the same time that the 
latter fled from religious persecution, and settled in Prince William county, Virginia. The father 
of Mr. Brannin moved to Level Green, Culpeper county, when our preacher was a small boy, where 
he was raised, receiving such educational advantages as the neighborhood afforded. He was con- 
verted and united with the Methodist Episcopal church at Providence, in August, 1833 — joined the 
Virginia Annual Conference in 1 845, and was appointed as junior preacher to Louisa circuit, then 
embracing the whole of Orange, the greater part of Louisa, and all of Spottsylvania, except Frede 
ricksburg. In his twentieth year, at the Conference of 1846, he was made pastor of Matthews cir- 
cuit, then embracing six churches, four local preachers, and an aggregate membership of over five 
hundred. There, by excessive work, in what was then the mostly sickly section of the State, his 



46 SKETCHES OF THE VIRGINIA CONFERENCE, 

health was greatly impaired, and his constitution received a shock, from which it has never entirely- 
recovered"; but at the following Conference, held in Charlottesville, (where he was ordained deacon 
by Bishop Andrew, and received into full connection,) he was appointed to Union Hill station, Rich- 
mond. At the close of 1848 he was compelled to ask for rest, and the Conference granted him leave 
to travel a year for the improvement of his health. He did not cease from preaching, but relief 
from pastoral responsibilities and labors, with aid of the pure water and air of his native region so far 
restored his health, that he was ordained elder by Bishop Andrew at the Conference of 1849, and 
appointed to Culpeper circuit. His next work was Orange circuit — from that to Warrenton — from 
Warrenton to Fauquier — from Fauquier to Brunswick — from Brunswick to King and Queen — from 
King and Queen to Orange — from Orange to Louisa — from Louisa to Fauquier — from Fauquier to 
Westmoreland. In the lalter part of 1861, while in charge of Westmoreland circuit, he was pros- 
trated by malarial disease, which disqualified him for regular pastoral work for nearly nine years. 
During this long period of physical disability, and sometimes of extreme suffering, he sustained the 
relation of supernumerary, and resided at the old homestead in Culpeper county, surrounded by 
kind and sympathizing relatives and friends. In the midst of camps and battles, he saw and felt 
the war in all its horrors from March, 1862, till May, 1864. He could not take the oath required by 
the Federal authorities, without the sacrifice of principles, and so he suffered the loss of all per- 
sonal property, and was frequently subjected to brutal treatment, and almost reduced to starvation. 
But through mercy he was enabled to maintain his integrity, and wonderful deliverance was wrought 
out for him by an over-ruling Providence. After all of our churches were destroyed, as he was able, 
and opportunity offered, he preached in his own house to the neighbors, and occasionally in private 
houses, in other neighborhoods. During the years immediately following the war, he was subject 
to sudden and severe attacks of neuralgic rheumatism, and did not report for regular work until 
1871, when he was assigned to Bappahannock circuit ; from there to Culpeper ; then to Caroline ; 
then to Culpeper ; then to Nelson ; and from Nelson to Heathsville, his present field of labor. 

He was married on the 21st of June, 1848, to Miss Eliza L. Tackett, of Stafford county, Vir- 
ginia, who has shared with him the toils and sacrifices of an itinerant life. 



Rev. John Wesley Howard. 

HE comes from Methodist stock, and from a family of preachers. He has proclaimed the Glad 
Tidings in many of the counties of Piedmont Virginia, south of the Bappahannock, and in 
Tidewater. Few faces are more familiar to Methodist congregations. His powerful voice, sounding 
out like a trumpet, has echoed from church and camp for more than three decades. Many have 
heard its invitations and warning to their eternal gain. And he has sung the gospel in rich melody 
to thousands and thousands. Stout, genial, John Howard ! The snowy-beard lengthens over his 
breast, but there is warmth within. He tells some pleasant items of his history : 

John Wesley Howard was born in Gloucester county, Virginia, on the 16th of January, 1816, 
My parents were pious members of the Methodist church. My father, the Bey. James W- Howard, 



METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, SOUTH. 47 

was a local preacher for many years, had a regular appointment every Sabbath, preached more 
funeral sermons, and married more people than any preacher I ever knew. My uncle,' the Kev. 
Thomas Howard, was, at the time of his death, a Presiding Elder in the Virginia Conference, and 
was regarded as one of our very best preachers. 

I think I have heard my parents say, that I was baptized at family prayers the morning after I 
was born. 

I professed religion when I was quite a child, at a camp-meeting, held by the Kev. George Ma. 
hood at Point Comfort, in the county of Matthews. A few days after this meeting I -joined the 
church at Mount Zion. Here we had a Sabbath-school for many years. In this school I became a 
teacher — and while quite young was made class-leader. The first time I prayed in public was by 
the request of my mother one morning, my father not being at home. 'At my father's we used to 
sing at family prayers as regularly as the Bible was read. 

I had two brothers local preachers on the Gloucester circuit. 

At a Quarterly Conference, held by the Rev. Gervas M. Keesee, at Olive Branch, I was au 
thorized to preach, but did not know much about it. At a Quarterly Conference, held by Dr. Abram 
Penn, I was recommended to the Virginia Conference. 

In November, 1845, I joined the Conference in Norfolk. There were nine in my class. Bishop 
McTyeire was in the class. I think we are the only members of the class who are traveling preach- 
ers. Well, he is a Bishop ; and "by the grace of God, I am what I am." 

My first circuit was Southampton in 1846 ; Charlotte, 1847 ; Bedford, 1848 ; Nelson, 1849-50 ; 
Cumberland, 1851-52 ; Mecklenburg, 1853 ; Prince Edward, 1854-55 ; Northampton, N. C, 1856 
Southampton again in 1857 ; Gates, N C, 1858-59 ; Chesterfield, 1860-61; Amelia, 1862; Am-; 
herst, 1862-64; Chesterfield again in 1865-'6-'7 ; Princess Anne, 1868-'9-'70; Louisa, 1871; 
Greene, 1872-73; Fluvanna, 1874-'5-'6-'7 ; Buckingham, 1878-79. 



Rev- Thomas Jefferson Bayton- 

ri^HE guidings of Providence in men's lives is ever a source of wonder and praise. The hand of 
JL God was upon this Virginia preacher when young, turning his feet to that path of usefulness 
which he has followed with fidelity and success. He had work for him, and he chose him for it. In 
various sections of our territory the fruits of his labors can be found to the praise of the Master, 
to the honor of the minister, and the strengthening of the Church. He is a native of Norfolk 
county, Va. His parents were not professors of religion, consequently he received no religious 
training, but, with the family, regularly attended divine service at the Protestant Episcopal church 
in the city of Portsmouth, where his father was a pew-holder and regular contributor to the church, 
but here he received no particular religious impressions. His father died when he was about ten 
years of age. He was then boarded in the city of Portsmouth with an Episcopal family and sent 
to school, and here he continued to attend the Protestant Episcopal church and Sabbath school 



48 SKETCHES OF TBE VIRGINIA CONFERENCE 

Subsequently he was thrown among the Methodists in the same town, and then, forthe first time, 
he began to attend worship at the Methodist church, at which time the Rev. G. M. Keesee was pas- 
tor of the church, during which time Rev. Dr. L. Rosser came to the city to assist the pastor in a 
series of meetings, which resulted in a wonderful and gracious revival of "religion, at which time 
the subject of this paper was happily converted to God in his fifteenth year, and in about one month 
connected himself with the Methodist church. When he was about eighteen years of age he was 
made leader of two classes — one among the whites, and the other colored. About this time he 
became the subject of deep and serious impressions, but did not reveal his exercises to any one, but 
was frequently conversed with by his pastor and brethren, who urged him to obey the call and enter 
upon the work of preaching the Gospel, from which he shrank with fear and trembling, feeling his 
entire unfitness for such a solemn and responsible work, but after a long and sore conflict, much 
prayer and heart-searching, he consented to obey what he honestly believed' to be a call from God, 
and set about the work of preparation for a proper discharge of the functions of his high and holy 
calling. In July, 1846, he was licensed to exhort. In October of the same year he was licensed to 
preach, and in November of the same year he was recommended by the Quarterly Conference of 
the Richmond station — the sainted Cowles being the Presiding Elder — to the' Annual Conference as 
a suitable person to preach the Gospel in the itinerant field. At the Conference of 1846, held at 
Randolph Macon College, he was received on trial with a class of six others, who, in the mercy of 
God, are still living. In about one month he entered upon the active duties of his sacred calling, 
and from that day to the present hour he has regularly received an apppointment from the Bishop, 
and performed the work committed to his hands. Truly the Lord has led him by a way he knew 
not, and to his holy name all honor is due. 



. Rev. Peter Francis August. 

THE chivalrous cavalryman, General Stuart, used to sign his name "yours to count on." If 
Prank August is not of that sort, then none of that sort are among us. He never smote with 
look or word any absent man. The thought of any interest with which he was charged receiving 
hurt through his slackness never occurred to any church or army official. His bones would have 
been by the sea gate at Pompeii. The crowd might have rushed in flight for safety, but he would 
have never moved. Such is August. He was chaplain when Lee surrendered. A quiet, spare gen- 
tleman withal. The Church has a true son in him ; the Conference a member of high qualities. He 
is a native of Fredericksburg, Va. While a little boy his parents moved to the city of Richmond, 
where he grew up to manhood, and where, in his youth, he spent about eight or nine years in several 
excellent schools. In the spring of 1842 he was converted and united with the Shockoe Hill Meth- 
odist Episcopal church. During the fall of the same year, feeling that he was called to the work 
of the ministry, he made arrangements to prosecute a course of study preparatory thereto. The 
years 1843, 1844 and 1845 he spent at Hinton Hill school, Lunenburg county, of which the now 



METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHtfBCH, SOUTH. 49 

venerable and Bev. John C. Blackwell, D. D., was the principal. At the session of the Virginia 
Annual Conference held at Kandolph Macon College, near Boydton, he was admitted a probationer 
in 1846, and appointed to Charlottesville. He has been in the Virginia Conference ever since, and 
has received the following appointments since the first named : Powhatan, Elizabeth City, North 
Carolina ; Fredericksburg, Bandolph Macon College and Boydton, Charlottesville (second time), 
Loudoun, Fairfax, Bock Creek and Howard, Hampton and Fox Hill, and Winchester ; appointed by 
Bishop Andrew a chaplain in the Confederate army November, 1861, which position he retained 
until General Lee's surrender ; next appoinment, 1865, Harrisonburg ; Edenton, North Carolina ; 
South Buckingham, Liberty ; Murfreesboro, North Carolina ; Salisbury, Maryland ; Gordonsville ; 
Wesley Chapel, Petersburg ; Boydton, Williamsburg, which he is now filling. 



Rev- John Davenport Blackwell, A. M., D. D. 

HE is the Bayard of the Conference. His presence is courtly dignity. Nature quited herself 
well in fashioning a well nigh model of manly grace and form. If the environments mould 
the life, a crooked and dwarf soul would be a surprise in such enswarthment. 

Dr. Blackwell inherited a rich dowry — character, sound mind and Methodism. God nourished 
his soul, and he himself has never allowed his natural parts to lie fallow. His religious proclivities 
have compounded in intensity. He has been a man of thought and books. He is, without contro- 
versy, if not the first, the equal of any as an expounder of the word of God. He has held all posi- 
tions but the Bishopric. 

The parents of Dr. Blackwell were John and Bebecca Blackwell. He was born June 17, 1822. 
His grand parents by both lines, were persons of very decided characters. The paternal grand- 
father was of the Quaker faith, and noted among the large circle of his acquaintance, for his pecu- 
liar love for the truth. The grandmother was an Episcopalian, and a high-toned lady after the old 
Virginia stamp. 

The maternal grand parents, John and Ellen H. Davenport, of Frederick county, Virginia, were 
among the first, perhaps the first, in that section who espoused the cause of Methodism, and were 
eminent and influential Christians. 

The parents of Mr. Blackwell were both members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and 
noted for their life-long and ardent devotion to the cause of Christ. His father, John Blackwell, 
was one of the first who united with the Methodists in Fauquier county. Almost immediately on 
entering that communion, he was placed in official relations to the church, and as steward and class- 
leader, efficiently labored in the Master's vineyard, convincing all by an unswerving consistency, 
that he was seeking a heavenly inheritance. Bebecca Davenport, his mother, was distinguished for 
intelligent piety. The late Dr. John A. Collins, of the Baltimore Conference, one of the gifted 
ministers of American Methodism, said years ago to the subject of this sketch, "Your mother's faith 
and counsel have borne me through many a trying hour. Ah sir, she was a book !" Blessed with 
such parents, it will surprise none to learn that Mr. Blackwell professed religion at the early age of 
7 



50 SKETCHES OF TEE VIRGINIA CONFERENCE, 

fourteen and united with the Methodist Episcopal Church. His early advantages for education were 
good. For many years he was a pupil of Captain J. B. Smith, of Fauquier, then a student in the 
large boarding school in Warrenton, conducted by the late Professor E. M. Smith, and graduated 
at Dickinson College, while the lamented Dr. B. Emory was President, and the eminent scholars, 
John McClintock, D. D., LL. D., and William H. Allen, L. L. D., were of the faculty. 

In the fall of '46, Mr. Blackwell entered the Methodist ministry in the Virginia Conference. 
His labors have been given to the following appointments in the order named : Bedford, as col- 
league of the venerated J. "W. Childs, and afterwards as preacher in charge. Hampton, Farmville, 
E. M. College, chaplain ; Fairfax ; Washington City ; Warrenton ; Union, Eichmond ; Nottoway ; 
Trinity, Eichmond ; Granby St., Norfolk; Chaplain of 18th Virginia infantry one year; Warrenton 
a second time ; Amherst ; Presiding Elder Murfreesboro District ; Cumberland Street, Norfolk ; Pre 
siding Elder, Lynchburg district ; Presiding Elder, Charlottesville district, and now pastor of the 
Washington Street Church, Petersburg, Virginia. 

|J - Mr. Blackwell has never turned aside from the regular work of the ministry, though he has 
n6t been without flattering invitations to do so. 

Twice offered the Presidency of Wesleyan Female College, Murfreesboro, and once elected to that 
position ; when Martha Washington College was inaugurated, he was urged by prominent trustees 
to accept the Presidency ; elected to the Presidency of E. M. College on the resignation of the late 
Dr. Duncan and several times proffered the same position in colleges further South; he has persisted 
in thinking -it best for him to remain in the regular itinerancy. Entirely free from prejudice against 
serving the cause of God in our literary institutions, he has hitherto preferred the unincumbered 
work of preaching the word. 



Rev. John Leland Clark. 

THE record of this minister runs through a service of thirty-two years. He has been a wise 
builder of the walls of Zion. His pastorate has been fruitful of valuable and permanent re- 
sults. In Baltimore and Eichmond, along the Shenandoah and James, his faithful and efficient, 
labors in planting and governing are recognized. 

Mr. Clark has a stately figure. There is a remarkable resemblance in features to Henry Ward 
Beecher. This likeness has, on more than one occasion, created no small stir, particularly during a 
session of the Legislature of Virginia. He, however, has none of the drawbacks of the famous 
Brooklyn preacher. 

The bent of Mr. Clark's mind is in the line of logic. It is said that the late Dr. Munsey con- 
sidered his friend as highly endowed with the reasoning faculty. Mr. Clark makes out his propo- 
sitions with precision, and unfolds them in measured and exact method. In the enforcement of his 
deductions and conclusions, he displays at times a fervid oratory. 



METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, SOUTH. 51 

Mr. Clark has strong convictions verging on prejudice. He has no word of palliation for ignoble 
acts. His own code of social conduct is high and rigid. He is the most companionable of men. 

He is a native of Fluvanna county, and was born June 16th, 1821. His father was a member 
of the Baptist church ; was a soldier of the Kevolutionary war. His mother was a Miss Hope — she 
was a Methodist for seventy-five years. His father reached 88 years. His father used to hear the 
celebrated John Leland of the Eevolutionary notoriety and named Mr. Clark after him. All the 
children of his parents joined the Methodist church. 

Mr. Clark professed conversion in his fourteenth year, and served as class leader, exhorter and 
local preacher. He joined the Virginia Conference in the fall of 1848. 

His first appointment was to Campbell circuit with Elijah Chambers, senior preacher. It was 
a four weeks circuit with twenty-three appointments. He went the next year to Staunton circuit, a 
territory on Staunton river, between Campbell and Bedford circuits. Gracious revivals occurred on 
the circuit. Some of the converted in those meetings are prominent in the church now. His next 
appointment was to Oregon, Richmond, where about one hundred people were brought in the church 
during the two years. In 1853-4, he had charge of the Lexington circuit, including Lexington. 
Our church in the town was dedicated in 1853. During this year he was extremely ill from abcess 
in the throat, with little, if any, hope of recovery. "I had no doubt of my salvation in the event of 
my dying.'' A remarkable revival occurred that year at Elliott's Hill, which resulted in the building 
of a good church at that point, and the establishment of Methodism in that part of the county. 
In 1855-6, he was stationed at Harrisonburg, preaching once a month at "Woodstock and Bridge- 
water. . His health was still feeble as at the beginning of his ministry, suffering then at times almost 
indescribably from nervous derangement. 

He served Leesburg in 1857, with declining health. On the 5th of November, 1857, he was 
married to Miss Lucy J. Stevens, of Harrisonburg, Virginia, a noble Christian woman. In 1858-9, 
he travelled Scottsville circuit with gracious revivals attending his meetings. Among those who 
joined the church was Rev. Wiley Bledsoe of the Virginia Conference. 

In 1860, he served Hanover circuit, holding protracted meetings from 4th Sunday in May, and 
continued them almost constantly till near the close of the year. One hundred and fifty people 
were converted that year, and some of the converts are among the leading men Of the circuit at this 
time. 

In 1862-3, he was in charge of Albemarle circuit. The war was on the land, and but little 
could be done, but hold the church together 

In 1864-5-6, he served Lexington circuit the second time, when a revival of great power 
occurred at Elliott's Hill, after which, while he remained, that congregation was one of the largest 
in the county. He was transferred to the Baltimore Conference in the fall of 1866, and was ap- 
pointed to Staunton station in the spring of 1867 and served two years; Mr. Clark makes a note of his 
work there, "found the church in Staunton depressed. My predecessor received far from his full salary. 
On reaching Staunton I was told that the church was hopeless, and that nothing could be done. 
An interesting revival strengthened the church. My salary was overpaid by two hundred dol- 
lars. There were about one hundred conversions during the two years, and since then, Staunton has 
been one of the most desirable appointments in the Baltimore Conference." 

He suffered the loss of his excellent wife in June, 1868. In 1869-70, he was stationed at Mar- 
tinsburg ; this was a new and small charge of not more than a dozen male members. The existence 
there of Southern Methodism by some was thought to be precarious. During the winter of '68-9, 



52 SKETCHES OF THE VIRGINIA CONFERENCE, 

there was a powerful revival. There were some seventy-five conversions, of whom a large number 
were leading citizens. At the close of the year our church was among the strongest financially in 
the town. In '71-2, he was stationed at Holland Street church in Baltimore. Mr. Clark says, " This 
church had lost in the course of a year, or so, one hundred and forty members, and was greatly embar- 
rassed. At the close of the year, we had a nett increase of forty members, and had paid all its 
financial demands for the current year. My Presiding Elder, Rev. Dr. Rodgers, stated at one of my 
Quarterly Meetings, that he could say in that pulpit, what he' could say in no other pulpit in the 
district, that is, that the church owed no man a dollar, and pronounced the church the most vigorous 
organization in the city." 

In 1873—4, he was stationed in Lexington, Virginia, making a successful pastorate and financial 
exhibit. In the spring of 1875, he was transferred to the Virgfeiia Conference, and in the fall of the 
same year was appointed to Liberty station. Our church was the weakest church in town. During 
his term of three years, the membership was more than doubled, and is now a strong church. 

He then served the work at Ashland with fidelity and vigor. His present position is in charge 
of our church in Cambridge, Md., where he is deservedly popular, and edifying to the church. 



Rev. Esmond Anson Gibbs- 

MANY prime qualities of mind and heart come together in this discreet, energetic and victorious 
preacher. His work has been honored of God in a marked degree. It has not been marred 
by any lack of common sense. He is winning, diligent, and has the great gift of mother wit. A 
devoted, clear headed, affable gentleman is Esmond Gibbs — wise as a serpent, and harmless as a 
dove. A memorandum from his pen gives in excellent taste the interesting items of his early Chris- 
tian life : 

I am the child of James and Mary Gibbs, was born in Bedford county, Virginia, on the 25th of 
March, 1823. My father, son of Daniel Gibbs, was religiously inclined — somewhat of a Baptist. My 
mother, daughter of George Lewis, was purely of Quaker descent. Her father was one of the lead- 
ing members of the old Quaker church in Bedford county, in the yard of which his remains lie, to 
await the resurrection. My mother's devotion to that people continued as long as life lasted, though 
she was a member of the Methodist church. Her piety was beautiful and consistent. To her, under 
God, I am indebted for all I am in faith and hope. I learned to pray, trust, fear and believe, 
when but a child. I was unwilling to offend, by saying a word of profanity. I do not remember 
ever taking the name of the Lord in vain. 

I did not become a church member very early. And when verging on manhood my life was 
irregular, though I claimed to be religious in principle, if not in profession. And while a member 
of Mr. J. M. Smith's family, of Henry C. H., Virginia, my attention was frequently called to the 
subject of religion, and the necessity of being decided in such matters, by the beloved and amiable 
Mrs. Smith, whose kindness and motherly instructions had much to do in deciding the question, of 
being at once an open professor of religion — and there under the ministry of Rev. W. W. Albea, of 
the North Carolina Conference, I joined the Methodist church in the summer of 1842. In the 



METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, SOUTH. 58 

month of September, 1845, I was examined and licensed to preach by Rev. J. Jamieson, Presiding 
Elder, Danville district. Early in the Spring of 1846 I was called to the Campbell circuit by Rev. 
A Dibrell, to assist Rev. B. H. Johnson, preacher in charge. 

In November, of that year, he was received on trial in the Virginia Conference, in company with a 
number of most promising young preachers, who have succeeded well in the work of the ministry. 
His appointment was to Campbell circuit, with Rev. "William M. Ward. The stewards did him the 
honor to ask the Presiding Elder to send him to them again Hence the appointment. So, nearly 
two years of glorious revival — but diligent application and work. 

In 1847 he was appointed to Princess Anne. A happy and successful year, with Rev. J. P. 
Owen. 

In 1848 he was appointed to Warrenton, with Rev. R. T. Nixon. The revival work was very 
great at Warrenton, and some other points in the country. One of the subjects is a faithful itine- 
rant (J. H. Amiss). 

At the Conference November, 1849, he was appointed to Rappahannock. The work of revival 
was extensive^ He had a camp-meeting, at which a considerable number professed religion. One 
of whom is now, and has been a useful member of the Conference (J. B. Laurens). 

His next appointment was Appomattox in 1851-52 ; in 1853-54 in Northampton circuit ; in 
1855 Scottsville. 

At the Conference, in November, a special call was made for a border preacher. And it was 
decided to send him as a man of rare discretion, conciliating temperament. He went to Springfield 
and served 1856-57. In 1858-9, Charlotte. The second year was one of the greatest revivals ever 
witnessed in that county. Many of the subjects of that work are now to be seen in the different 
churches of the county. He then served Matthews with success. In 1861 Franklin circuit ; in 
1862-3, was on Souffh Bedford circuit ; in 1863, with Bro. Lea, a war measure ; in 1864, he did 
chaplain duty at his own charges ; in 1865, his appointment was to the people of color, but they 
were inaccessible at that date to Southern white preachers, and nothing could be done with them ; 
in 1866-7, North Bedford ; in November, he took a local relation for one year, for the purpose of 
arranging some secular matters, which required attention. 

At the November Conference he took his place in the itinerant ranks, and was appointed to 
Appomattox, where he femained, 1869-70. The revival work was very excellent both of these years. 
In 1871-2, to Westmoreland. These two years were remarkable for the mighty out-pouring of the 
Spirit. The number of professed converts reached about two hundred and twenty-five. 

In 1873 he was assigned to Windsor, N. C. During the year he was elected to the office of 
treasurer in the Wesleyan Female College, which he accepted, on condition that he might be per- 
mitted to continue as pastor of some charge, whereupon he was appointed to Meherrin. 

At the Conference in Elizabeth City, he was appointed for the second time to Charlotte circuit, 
where he continued two years. In 1877-8, he had charge of West Charlotte. Now he is with Rev. 
W. B. Rowzie, in Charlotte, having charge of a Female Institute, and giving the assistance needed 
to the pastor in the work of the ministry. 



54 SKETCHES OF TEE VIRGINIA CONFERENCE, 



Rev. Davis Peter "Wills. 

THE brisk, clear-headed Wills has been the right hand of the Bishops for years. There isn't a 
loose fiber in his nature. Whatever is worth doing at all is worth doing well, must be his 
motto. Vigilant, discreet and devoted is this Presiding Elder. There are no ravelled ends in his 
work. There is order and finish in anything, great and small. There is beneath this precision and 
activity serene courage, that no peril can dismay. He stood at his post during the terrible pesti 
lence in Norfolk, amid the appalling scenes of the Yellow Plague. God and duty are the supreme 
words in his vocabulary. 

He is a native of Nansemond county, Virginia, and was bftm on the 29th day of June, 1816. 
His father, John Gutridge Wills, was the son of an Englishman ; and his mother, Louisa Wills, was 
the daughter of a Scotchman ; so that on the side of his father, he is English ; and on the side of 
his mother, he is Scotch. It has been generally thought by the friends of his youth, that Isle of 
Wight county, Virginia, is his native county ; but they have fallen into this error from the fact, that 
the parents removed from Nansemond to Isle of Wight while he was an infant ; and he was brought 
up in this county. Having received a business education, he was put by his widowed mother in a 
variety store, in the town of Smithfield, Isle of Wight, Virginia, as merchant's clerk. It was during 
this period that he was converted and joined the Methodist Episcopal church. A little while after 
his conversion,, he connected himself with a Bible class, taught by Rev. James R. Wilson, a local 
preacher, of the Methodist Episcopal church, in Smithfield, which met every Sabbath morning at 
sunrise ; and now, for the first time in his history, he commenced the close, systematic and prayer- 
ful study of the Holy Scriptures. How much he was profited by his connexion with this Bible 
class, in the formation of habits of thought and study, in the development of Christian character, 
and how much he was cheered and encouraged in the service of his Master can never be revealed. 

After serving as merchant's clerk for several years, he commenced the mercantile business for 
himself in Smithfield, and prosecuted it with great energy and success for about seven years. 

There is one fact connected with his commercial life that it might be proper to mention it may 

be of benefit to some one. At this time it was the prevailing opinion among business men, that no 
merchant in conducting such a store as was usually kept in the country, of small towns, could pos- 
sibly succeed without selling alcoholic liquors. This prevailing opinion was brought to the atten- 
tion of Mr. Wills, and he carefully considered it. Finally after a most intelligent and thorough in- 
vestigation of the subject, and after praying God's direction as to what he should do, he came to 
the conclusion that the selling of alcoholic liquors was wrong, and that make, or break, he would not 
sell it. And this conscientious conviction controlled him throughout the whole of his life as a mer- 
chant ; and notwithstanding he sold no liquors,- yet he succeeded far beyond his most sanguine ex 
pectations. Although Mr. Wills was a merchant and attended to his business strictly, yet he found 
time to devote to the clmrch. He was Sabbath-school teacher/superintendent, class-leader, prayer- 
meeting conductor, and for some time labored Sabbath afternoons for the improvement and salva 
tion of the negroes of Smithfield and surrounding country. Many negroes were made sober, and 
kept temperate by his Sabbath afternoon lectures to them ; and many were converted and added to 
the church in Smithfield through his agency. 

Nor did he neglect the cultivation and improvement of his mind. Nearly all his nights, until 
a late hour, and his leisure moments he employed in studying Latin, Greek, French, &c, under com- 
petent instructors. While he was thus prosecuting his secular business, and employing all his 



METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHUBOS, SOUTH. 55 

leisure time in study, lie became thoroughly convinced that God called him to the regular work of 
the ministry. As soon as this conviction took full possession of his mind, he resolved by the grace 
of God, promptly and faithfully to obey. He at once commenced closing up his business ; and on 
the day he sold out his entire store he was licensed to preach. Then to prepare himself more 
fully for his ministerial work, he entered as a student the University of Virginia. How he studied 
there, the benefit he derived from the instructions of the learned professors of this great institu- 
tion, cannot be mentioned.- 

Eeturning from the University at the close of the session in 1845, he entered the Virginia An- 
nual Conference the Fall of the same year, and was sent as an assistant to Rev. George Bain, on 
Sussex circuit. The next year, 1848, he was ordained deacon by Bishop Capers, at the Conference 
in Elizabeth City, N. C, November 5th, and was returned to this circuit by himself. In 1849 he 
was stationed at High Street church, Petersburg, Virginia. In December, of that year, (1849) he 
was married to Miss Cornelia Durant Taylor, of Sussex county, Virginia. On the first day of De- 
cember, 1850, in Centenary church, Bichmond, he was ordained elder by Bishop Paine. In 1850 
and 1851, he was stationed in Leesburg, Loudoun county, Virginia ; and in 1853-4 in Lynchburg, 
Virginia, at the Third Street church, now Centenary ; in 1855 he was stationed at Cumberland Street 
church, Norfolk, Virginia. This was the year of that terrible scourge of Yellow Fever, in which 
large numbers were stricken down. He lost seventy-two members of his church, an aunt living in 
his family ; his only child, not quite three years old ; and he himself was so near the gate of death 
that his life was despaired of, and his name recorded among the dead in the newspajiers of the cities 
of Virginia. 

In 1856 he was returned to Norfolk — and during that year his health having partially failed, he 
was persuaded by Bishop Early to take the agency of the Virginia Conference Tract Society in 1857, 
to recuperate his health by travelling. In 1858 he was continued agent. In 1859 he was stationed 
in Alexandria ; and in the same year was elected President of the Wesleyan Female College, at 
Murfreesboro', N. C. At the commencement of the Fall session of the college, he entered upon the 
duties of president, and remained in this position until the close of the session in 1861, when he 
resigned. In 1862-63, while the fearful Confederate war was raging, he was on Hanover circuit ; 
and in 1864-'65 he was on Louisa circuit. In 1866 he was appointed Presiding Elder of the Eastern 
Shore district. At the end of this year this little district having been properly organized, was 
attached to the Norfolk district ; and he was appointed Presiding Elder of it. This was 1867 ; and 
in 1868, 1869 and 1870, he was continued on the Norfolk district. In 1871, 1872 and 1873, he was 
Presiding Elder of the Petersburg district. In 1874, 1875, 1876 and 1877, he- was Presiding Elder 
of the Bichmond district. In 1878 he was Presiding Elder of the Charlottesville district ; and at 
the present time, 1880, he is Presiding Elder of the Lynchburg district. 



56 SEEtCMES OF ?HE tIBGINiA CONFERENCE, 



Rev. John Bonney Dey. 

I N public and in private his feet seek for the central track of the narrow way. His faults lean to 
J. virtue's- side. His eye is single. He would have pleased the heart of the strict but wise St. 
Bernard. He is the Cato of the Conference. He has been an omnivorous reader. His profiting 
appears to every audience. He offers only the " well beaten oil, " and it is perfumed by a heavenly 
fragrance. His sermons please the taste and stir the heart. He has served the Church for thirty- 
three years in the county, town, city and on the district. He was agent of the Tract Society of the 
Confederate army. He is a native of Virginia, and in his fifty^ixth year. 



Rev- Milton Lafayette Bishop- 

A SINGLE leaf can contain a recital of deeds which have blessed thousands of hearts, the Church 
and the Commonwealth, and more, made heaven glad. The simple narrative that follows these 
lines are without ornament, but tells the unvarnished story of a useful life. We have little doubt 
that the readers of this brief sketch will receive good from the perusal : 

I was the third child of my parents — Anna Ellis, daughter of Benjamin Ellis, and John D. 
Bishop, son of Thomas Bishop, all of Surry county, Virginia. There were six children of us, two 
sons and four daughters, all now living except the oldest, who died in 1847. I was born in 1824, 
August 22d. I never knew any of my ancestry to follow anything but farming as a vocation. My 
father died when I was about twelve years of age, and my mother in 1865, having been a Methodist 
from one year after I joined the church. Prom my earliest recollections I was trying to be a Chris- 
tian, mainly from the influence of Christian slaves, as neither of my parents professedreligion. My 
mother was always a pious woman. I read my Bible regularly and prayed up to the session of the 
Virginia Conference held in Petersburg in 1843 (perhaps in 1842), when I openly sought conversion 
at the altar in "Washington street church. Though I realized a change in all my feelings and views 
of life — a change that entered at once into all my plans for life — I did not accept such as conver- 
sion, simply because of the extravagant experiences I had often heard related by the old slaves of 
my father. Nor did I become satisfied of my conversion till some months after. I had read the 
Old Testament through in the last eight months, and the New Testament eight times, sitting up 
late at night to read after I had prepared my school studies, and so was at no loss in making up my 
mind as to what Church I should join. I joined at Carsley's church, Surry county, Virginia, then 
served by Bev. G. M. Andross, who baptized me by pouring just as I received the Holy Ghost. He 
appointed me class-leader. I had formed my ideas of the doctrines of the Bible before I joined the 
church, and to this day have not had to change those views. I had read with prayer to be guided, 
and I believe I was directed by the Spirit of all Truth. "With the change of heart in Petersburg, 
I received the conviction of my call to the ministry, and my studies at school were all conducted in 
view of that calling ; yet my mind was not satisfied on that subject for years after. I had my heart 
on farming — a sort of inherited proclivity — nor did I consent to quit it until "Woe is me if I preach 
not the Gospel " had shut me up to preaching or ruin. From the time of my conversion I went to 



METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, SOUTH. 57 

school in Surry ; Little Town, in Sussex ; Emory and Henry, and Randolph Macon College, up to 
the year 1848, May 17th, when my health forced me to leave school. I was licensed as an exhorter 
in 1847, October 5th, by William A. Smith, D. D., Presiding Elder ; was licensed to preach in April, 
1848, by Rev. J. H. Davis, Presiding Elder ; joined the Virginia Conference in the fall of 1848, at 
Elizabeth City, and was sent as a helper under Rev. G. N. Winfree, on the Amelia circuit, then 
embracing all of Amelia and about half of Dinwiddie. I traveled but five months of this year, in 
consequence of the work — eighteen appointments being too large for my feeble health. Yet I 
preached much in my native county, and held several very successful protracted meetings. The 
next year, 1850, I was sent to Bedford circuit under Rev. A. Wiles, but as his health failed him 
in the spring, he left the circuit, and I fell in charge ; and here I did the hardest year's work of my 
life, and I realized the greatest success in the way of revivals — over three hundred professing con- 
version. The next year, 1851 and 1852, I was on the Staunton circuit — part of South Bedford and 
Campbell counties ; in 1853 and 1854 on the Amherst circuit ; in 1855 and 1856, the Charlotte cir- 
cuit ; in 1857, the Mecklenburg circuit ; in 1858, the Murfreesboro circuit ; in 1859, the Fincastle 
circuit, Botetourt county ; in 1860, the Nelson circuit, in all of which I had a successful work. By 
tliis time my health had become very bad, and by the urgent advice of my Presiding Elder and 
physician, I took a supernumerary relation, which I sustained until the fall of 1865, when 1 1 located. 
My health improved so much that I joined Conference again in the fall of 1868, and was sent to 
Fluvanna circuit four years. I rested one year there, or a part of one year, my throat being badly 
diseased. I then was sent to the Rappahannock circuit, where I travelled three years ; from which 
I was sent to the South Bedford circuit, where I am now serving out my fourth year. On all my 
fields of labor I had good revivals — an average of not less than one hundred and fifty conversions 
a year. Some twenty of these are in the ministry, mostly the Methodist. 



Rev. William Andrew Robinson. 

TMHIS useful but afflicted preacher is a native of Gloucester county, Virginia, dating his life from 
JL 11th of December, 1815. His father died when our brother was young, and left his son an or 
phan at five years of age. His educational advantages were very limited. He was converted 
under the ministry of Rev. Henry B. Cowles, in his native county, in the month of August, 1837. 
He joined the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, as soon thereafter as he conveniently could. He 
passed through the grades of class-leader, exhorter, and local preacher. 

He entered the Virginia Conference in the Fall of 1851, and continued in the active ministry 
until 1861. Since then he has been supernumerary. Bad health has restricted him in his work. He 
serves as a colporteur, when his condition will allow. 



58 SKETCHES OF THE VIRGINIA CONFERENCE, 



Rev. James Leak Spencer. 

r\ a sketch of this minister the call, that leadsmen to forsake all and follow Christ, is conspicuous. 
In his case, though the struggle was protracted, yet the recompense of reward was a greater 
magnet than the pleasures of sin for a season, for he saw Him who is invisible. 

Dr. Spencer has added the Christian courtesies to the graces of polished life. And there is 
none more fitted for every grade of society than this elegant gentleman. His civility and easy man- 
ners are not the veneer of fashionable society, but the smoothness and finish that grace and good 
breeding have wrought upon original material of native worth. The Conference holds him in high 
estimate. He has served the church, to the edification of the people of God, and to permanent 
material gain. His affability, faithful, pastoral and winning addresses from the sacred rostrum, with 
a discretion and an aptness for conducting affairs, put a value upon him as a successful minister. 

He is a son of Dr. John and Elizabeth W. Spencer, and was born in Cumberland county, Vir 
ginia, June 14th, 1826. His parents were Presbyterians. "When about six months' old he was dedi- 
cated to God in holy baptism. This fact was often dwelt upon by his parents in conversation with 
him in his early years, and he was impressed with all the particulars, and that he thereby and 
thenceforth was the Lord's. He was often deeply impressed with his obligations to serve God. In 
1840 he boarded in the family of Mr. Beverly Crowder, a Methodist A daughter pressed upon 
him the obligations of a Christian life, and his heart cried out for salvation, but these religious in- 
fluences were broken up by his removal to another boarding-school. In the summer of 1841, at a 
quarterly meeting held by Revs. John Early and Martin A. Dunn, he professed religion — and after 
consultation with his parents, united with the Methodist church. At that meeting he felt a call to 
the ministry, but hushed it, because it appeared to him presumptuous and self-righteous. Twelve 
or eighteen months after, owing to some unkind treatment he . received from a local preacher, he 
withdrew from the Methodists. For some years he walked in darkness and trouble, never grossly 
immoral in the eyes of the world, yet feeling he was a sinner. 

In 1845-'6 he attended the medical lectures at the University of Virginia, and 1846-7 lectures 
at the Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, where he graduated in March, 1847, and returned 
to practice medicine at the place, and among the people with whom his father had lived and died. 

In August, 1848, during the meeting of a Baptist Association, near his mother's, he professed 
religion in the cellar of his office. His conviction of sin was deep, strong and pungent. He was 
overwhelmed under a sense of his condemnation, and had gone down into the cellar carrying with 
him the New Testament, and James' Anxious Inquirer. "While reading the latter, he was directed 
to the 3d and 5th chapters of Bomans — he read the former chapter, and commenced reading the 
1st verse of the 5th chapter, when he felt that he was justified, and had peace in believing. His 
assurance of his pardon and acceptance with God was clear and undoubted. His peace was pei*f ect. 
He carried all to God in prayer. Methodism was very feeble in his immediate neighborhood. He 
attended the ministration of other churches. The Methodises preached in the weel , or of a Sunday 
afternoon once in the month. He read the confession of faith and other creeds, but he, finding by 
chance a old Discipline, became satisfied that the Methodist church was the place for him and joined 
it. Soon he was appointed class-leader and exhorter. 

On the 26th of September, 1848, he was married to Miss Mary M. Ford, a pious, devoted 



METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, SOUTH. 59 

Methodist lady, who died in January, 1850, in great peace. He was overwhelmed in grief. He 
wondered why it was that God thus afflicted him if God loved him. He sought to solve the ques- 
tion by earnest prayer and fasting. "When thus exercised in February or March, the thought came 
into his mind that this affliction was that he might be turned to the itinerant ministry. The thought 
was entirely repugnant to his diffident nature, and hostile to his worldly plans. The conviction of 
"a call to the itinerant ministry grew. In reading of the holy vocation it was increased. He sought 
to compromise by being a local preacher, remaining on his farm and attending to his profession, but 
no compromise could be made. The struggle continued, but the call to the itinerant ministry was 
pressed upon him with more force and clearness. In August the conflict was fiercest, he fell upon 
his knees crying, O Lord I am unworthy, unfit, but go with me and I will go. In less than an hour 
he told his mother, and asked her consent— she was a widow, and he the only child near her; yet 
she said " Yes, my son go, and God bless you. I count it a great honor that God has called a child 
of mine to be a minister of the gospel, when you were an infant on my lap I gave you to God, and 
now I have lived to see you called to preach." He sold his farm, gave up the flattering prospects 
of his profession, and was received on trial in the Virginia Conference November, 1850, sitting in old 
Trinity church, Richmond, Virginia. His first year was on Nottoway circuit ; next time in Edenton, 
North Carolina ; 1854 Chaplain to Randolph Macon College ; 1855-6 in Elizabeth City, North Car- 
olina ; October, 1855, was married to Miss Martha A. Fitzgerald ; in 1857-8 traveled Lunenburg 
circuit. 

While at the Conference in Portsmouth, November, 1858, he was called home, when his only 
brother died, leaving his aged mother in failing health, without any one to care for and nurse her. 
She was blessed with an abundance of this world's good, but no one to minister as a child should ; 
hence he did not go to his appointment that year, but remained nursing his mother, expecting her 
to die every week. 

At the Conference in Lynchburg, November, 1857, he was given by Bishop Early a nominal 
position. In December his mother passed away peacefully. The labor and anxiety of 1859 followed 
by the great amount of secular business necessary for him to attend to, and the efforts to keep up 
his preaching regularly, prostrated him. His health improved, he was enable to enter the regular 
work again November, 1872, when he was sent to Caroline circuit for two years, then assigned to 
Hampton for two years ; in 1876 appointed to Eastville circuit. 



Rev. John Covvper Granbery, A. M., D. D. 

PROFESSOR GRANBERY is first among us as an expounder of the Scriptures. As chaplain 
in the Confederate forces no claim has come forward to challenge his precedence there for 
fidelity to his commission. He marched on foot with the men, ministered to them, and was shot 
down by their side. He shared the lot of a common soldier in the field. He shirked no danger in 
the fight. 

The wound in the head that smote him down, was reported as mortal, and he was left among 
the slain. He was captured and recovered, with but the ruin of the sight in one eye. 



60 SKETCHES OF THE VIRGINIA CONFERENCE, 

In matters of doctrine or duty his voice always commanded assent, for he had mastered the 
theology of his church, and he had illustrated the whole round of duties. He was ready to serve his 
brethren, but shrank from every appearance of courting popularity. The winnings arts for personal 
ends were an abomination to him. He is without brusqueness, "techyness," exclusiveness, or pre 
tentions, without starchiness, or owlish look of wisdom, but rather a genial man without anecdote, 
and with a head mounted with a mansard roof. He has been twice married. 

He was born in Norfolk, Virginia, December 5, 1829, and in the Spring of 1844 was converted 
and joined the church. He graduated at Eandolph Macon College in 1848, and in November of 
that year was admitted into the Virginia Conference on trial. His first year here was as junior 
preacher in Eastville circuit ; the second, he was stationed in Parmville. Two years he was pastor 
of the Third Street church, Lynchburg. In a revival at the close of his second year in that place, 
his health broke down, and he could not attend the session of the Conference, nor take work for 
the next year. 1854 he was junior preacher on Loudon circuit ; then two years pastor at Eandolph 
Macon ; one year at Charlottesville ; two years in Washington city ; two years chaplain of the Uni- 
versity of Virginia. The day after the commencement of that institution in 1861, he joined the 
Eleventh Virginia Infantry, at Manassas, as chaplain, and continued with them until the Pall of 
1863. He was at that time appointed by the church a missionary to the army of Gen. Lee, and in 
that office he served until paroled at Appomattox C. H., April, 1865. A few weeks afterwards he 
became pastor of Market Street church, Petersburg, and remained until the Pall of 1868. He was 
four years at Centenary, Richmond, and nearly three years at Broad Street. In September, 1875, 
he removed to Nashville, Tennessee, having been elected a Professor in the Vanderbilt University. 
He is at this time in that University, Professor of Practical Theology, and acting Professor of Moral 
Philosophy. He has served in the General Conference. 



Rev. Benjamin Cleviers Spiller. 

THE Conference claims in Mr. Spiller a member with a record of enviable merit. Success rewards 
his faithful ministry, and judgment in the administration of church business has ever marked 
his public career. The sterling virtues of the itinerancy are crowned in his life. Self-denying, 
careful for the things of God, diligent and watchful, he holds an honored place in the hearts of his 
brethren, and is valued highly both for his ability to edify the church and his private worth. 

His parents were Patrick and Louisa Spiller; he was born in Northumberland county, Virginia, 
May 13th, 1819. His mother was a pious woman. He professed conversion at Rehoboth church, 
Lancaster circuit, (then in the Baltimore Conference), under the ministry of Rev. Mr. Eskridge. In 
August, 1845, he joined the Methodist Episcopal church. 

He was exercised on the subject of entering the ministry, but taught school. In 1846 and in 
1847, was licensed as an exhorter, and in 1848 as a local preacher, spending the remainder of that 
year on the Lancaster circuit, with Rev. Stephen W. Jones, of the Virginia Conference, the first 
preacher from the Virginia Conference after the division of the church. He was received, with 



METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, SOUTH. 61 

seven other young men, at the session of the Conference in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, in No- 
vember, 1848. His first appointment was to Prince Edward circuit, with Eev. J. D. Southall, senior 
preacher. His second year (1849) was to Princess Anne circuit, with Kev. William Eeed as preacher 
in charge. In 1850 Hanover circuit, with Rev. J. C. Garlick as senior, whose health failed, and 
Mr. Spiller was in charge until just before Conference. In 1851-52, to Goochland. In 1853 he 
married Miss Susan E. Nuckolls, of Goochland, and served Appomattox; in 1854, Camden circuit, 
North Carolina ; in 1855-6, New Kent ; 1857-8, Mecklenburg ; 1859-60, Southampton ; 1861, Ran- 
dolph Macon circuit ; 1862-'3-'4, chaplain in the Thirteenth Regiment Virginia Cavalry. At the 
close of the war he was appointed to Goochland ; in 1866-'7-'8, Goochland ; in 1869-70, he was 
placed on the supernumerary list ; in 1871-'2-'3-'4, to Goochland ; in 1875-'6-'7-'8, served in York 
circuit. In all of his appointments the Lord has blessed his labors, and hundreds of souls have 
been converted. 



Rev- Thomas Alexander "Ware. 

DISEASE holds captive this eloquent preacher and Christian gentleman. With even moderate 
robustness of body, few could have matched him before an audience. In his earlier years the 
throngs that attended his ministry and the applause that followed him, gave evidence of rare endow- 
ments for popular speaking. Eor years the malaria that poisoned him while a boy circuit rider in 
Mississippi, has slowly sapped the vigor of his constitution and clipped the wings of his royal 
powers as an elevated orator. At times, in spite of physical fetters, he rises to imperial heights. 
His social life is replete with the courtesies of good breeding. His Christian record is without a 
stain. He was the child of Dabney and Elizabeth Ware, and was born in Tuscumbia, Alabama 
September 1st, 1830. His ancestors were from England, and originally settled Ware parish, Glou- 
cester county, Virginia. The first convert from among them to Methodism was the Rev. Thomas 
Ware, who became one of the most zealous and efficient pioneer preachers in New England, and one 
of the first agents in charge of the Methodist Publishing House in New York. 

The subject of this sketch was converted at the age of twelve years, and in his nineteenth year, 
in obedience to his lifeJong conviction of duty, entered the ministry as a licentiate, and soon after 
was received in the Memphis Conference at its session in Aberdeen, Mississippi, November, 1848. 
His first appointment was Chulahoma circuit, where God blessed the labors of the " boy preacher " 
with many conversions. The next year he was appointed to Somerville circuit, where, during the 
year, there were about three hundred conversions — eighty-five in Macon, the village where two years 
before he was a student in the Academy. Coahoma circuit lay in the Mississippi swamp, and was 
regarded as the purgatory of the Memphis Conference. Some of the preachers had resisted appoint, 
ment to it, even to location. Regarding this as so inconsistent with the spirit of the itinerant min- 
istry, in his indiscreet zeal, at the session of 1850 he volunteered for that charge. He was gratified. 
But amid the hardships and exposures in a heavy malaria, he was prostrated, and his system suf 
fered a shock from which it seems never to have fully recovered. Thence in November, 1851, he 
was sent to Itawamba circuit. The year following he was stationed in Pontotoc, Mississippi, and 



62 SKETCHES OF THE VIRGINIA CONFERENCE, 

afterward, in successive years, in the following cities of Tennessee : Brownsville, Jackson, and 
Memphis. The pews of "Wesley church, at which he was stationed in Memphis, rented that year 
for $2,250. He received $500, and the remainder went towards the building of a parsonage. Being 
then unmarried, it sufficed for his support, and he has never asked more. Amid arduous labors that 
year in Memphis he was again. prostrated. Under medical advice to rest, he accompanied his mother 
and sister on a visit to Virginia. During his stay in the mountains his health rallied beyond all 
precedent in his experience. Hence he wrote to the Memphis Conference in the fall of 1856, asking 
a transfer for one year to Virginia, in the hope that in one of the mountain circuits his health might 
be fully restored. He proposed, as he then fully intended, to return at the expiration of that period. 
The end not fully met the first year, he remained the second, and so oh, until the ties to Virginia, 
its preachers and people have made it, in all likelihood, his Borne for life and his resting-place in 
death. His appointments in the Virginia Conference have been made as follows : November, 1856, 
Chaplain to Bandolph Macon College ; the two years following, Loudoun circuit ; then Fredericks- 
burg station. In the early part of the year 1857, the health of Bev. E. P. "Wilson failing, the sub- 
ject of this sketch was appointed by Bishop Early in his stead Presiding Elder of the Fredericks- 
burg district ; the next year stationed at Clay-Street church, Bichmond ; November, 1861, Presiding 
Elder on Henry district. At Conference, November, 1862, at his earnest solicitation, he was granted 
a nominal relation, that he might travel in the South as soliciting agent for the Soldiers' Tract So- 
ciety. His success was a happy comment on the liberality of the South in sending Bibles and reli- 
gious literature to its soldiers. In November, 1863, he was appointed Chaplain to the 18th Virginia 
regiment. During the winter of 1864-'65, at the urgency of Dr. Bennett, President of the Soldiers' 
Tract Society, he consented to resign the chaplaincy to resume that agency. From the close of the 
war, in the spring of 1865, to the end of the year he served at Cumberland-Street church, Norfolk. 
He had the happiness there of seeing the peeled and scattered flock rally to the crowding of that 
immense edifice and many souls added to the membership. In November of that year he was sent 
to Charlottesville for two years. During his pastorate there the church building was completed at 
a cost of $2,300 cash, and bonded subscription of $1,600 secured for old debt ; the Sunday school 
increased from 62 to 272, and the membership so strengthened as that thenceforward they have 
been able to support a minister with a family. From that work he was appointed to Murfreesboro, 
North Carolina, one year. In November, 1868, he was again appointed to Clay-Street church, Bich 
mond, where he remained two years. On the 28th of January, 1869, he was united in marriage to 
Jeannie D., daughter of Dr. Thomas J. Pretlow, of Southampton county, Virginia. In 1870 and 
1871 he was appointed to Salisbury, Maryland. In November, 1872, he was sent again to Char- 
lottesville, Virginia, where he remained two years ; thence to Amherst circuit one year. In Novem- 
ber, 1875, he was made Financial Agent of Bandolph Macon College and continued in 1876. In 
1877 and 1878 he was appointed to Scottsville circuit. His failing health has rendered a supernu- 
merary relation necessary. » 



METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, SOUTH. 63 



Rev. Oscar Littleton. 

HE holds a firm position in the Conference ranks, as a wise and careful disciplinarian, a preacher 
of uncommon powers and a Christian, with a single eye and of deep devotion, a minister with a 
spotless and fruitful record. His social virtues have won a large circle of friends among the mem- 
bers of the Conference, and his ability commands the consideration of all. 

He was born in Leesburg, Loudoun county, Virginia, September 26th, 1830, and converted at 
the age of sixteen, under the ministry of Rev. John S. Martin, of the Baltimore Conference. At 
this time, not a member of his father's family was a professing Christian ; but God soon employed 
his conversion as the means of bringing his father, mother and sister, to Christ ; and all joined the 
church at the same time. Through the influence of a pious lady, he was very early in life brought 
into the Sunday school, where for years he was carefully instructed by teachers, whose names he 
will never cease to revere. He now looks upon the Sunday school as his foster mother, who early 
nourished his young soul with the bread of life, and finally brought him to Christ, and into the 
ministry. 

From the time of his conversion until he entered the ministry, he does not remember a single 
occasion when he failed in his attendance upon the Sunday-school, the class meeting, and the young 
men's prayer-meeting, if it was at all in his power to be present ; and these means of grace he re- 
gards as having had a powerful influence in forming his Christian character. 

"When about eighteen years of age, under the ministry of Rev. T. L. Hoyle, of the Virginia 
Conference, he was granted license to exhort ; but from this he shrunk to such an extent, that he 
never exercised his gifts in that way upon more than one or two occasions. 

After much persuasion, he consented to enter upon the great work of a Methodist preacher for 
life. The persuasion was not necessary to convince him that God had called him to the ministry — 
of that he has never had a doubt ; but it was necessary to satisfy his mind that he ought to begin 
such a work at so early a period of his life, and with so little preparation. At the time he actually 
began, he was only nineteen years and six months old ; and when sent to his first circuit had never 
even attempted to preach a sermon. His first work was given him by Eev. J. H. Davis, Presiding 
Elder of the Fredericksburg district, Virginia Conference, as the helper of the honored and aged 
Joseph Carson, on the Fauquier and Stafford circuit. His first attempt at preaching was in Stafford 
courthouse, in about the position occupied by the judge when the court was in session. It was in 
the afternoon of the third Sunday in March, 1850, Brother Carson being present. This effort, 
which was accounted by all a failure, lasted only twenty, minutes. Brother Carson, without intend- 
ing it, added to the mortification of the young preacher, by saying : " Brethren, this is the youth, 
and you all see he is the youth, who has been sent by the Presiding Elder to try and labor with 
us* during the balance of the year." 

In November, 1850, he was received on trial into the Virginia Conference, and sent to Warrenton 
circuit under Bev. Martin A. Dunn. After this year he assumed the responsibilities of the ministry 
alone. He has filled, with varied success, the following appointments : Gosport station, Farmville 
station, at two different periods, Loudon circuit, Clay-street, Richmond, and Manchester stations, 
Smithfield, Louisa, Henrico, Amelia, Cumberland, Atlantic, Pungoteague, Gloucester, and Madison, 
circuits. 



64 SKETCHES OF THE VIRGINIA CONFERENCE, 

During the twenty-nine years of his ministry he has been instrumental in the conversion of 
many souls. In one year alone, on Pungoteague circuit, he received 250 members into the Church. 
His marital relation has been exceedingly pleasant and profitable, both to him and his work. In 
November, 1855, he was united in marriage to Miss Martha E. Bernard, daughter of Brother Over- 
ton Bernard, of Norfolk, Va. She passed away in great triumph, in September, 1865, leaving three 
children. 

He was again married to Miss Alice M. Bernard, June 1 8, 1868, with whom he is now living in 
happy wedlock. 



M : 



Rev. William Goodwin Williams. 

R. "WILLIAMS is of powerful frame and full of vim. God has endowed him with two invalua- 
ble gifts — courage and common sense. He never flinches before the face of man nor commits 
a blundering folly. He has his wits about him, and the heart of a Hon. Oftentimes in the pulpit 
there is a volume of eloquence that compels conviction. His expounding of Scripture is clear and 
strong. He is wise in the management of church business. Nothing goes by loose ends. He 
leaves his field in good heart and well-tilled. It can be readily understood that a preacher of such 
native powers would get a firm hold on the people in a new State. And we know that during the 
years Mr Williams resided in Texas he wielded considerable influence among laity and preachers. 
His masculine character and power as a public speaker, with his readiness for emergencies, made 
him a man of note in the Commonwealth of the Lone Star. In social lif e, Mr. Williams is a choice 
companion. As a friend, he can always be counted on. 

William Goodwin Williams, second son of Richard and Charlotte Johnson Williams, was born 
in Nansemond county, Va., on the 5th of January, 1833. His early education was received from pri 
vate teachers and the schools of the neighborhood. At the early age of four years he was on one 
occasion so blessed of the Spirit that he rejoiced in God as- his father. In 1841 he was regenerated 
by the Spirit, and joined the Methodist Episcopal Church at a meeting held by Rev. Robert 
Michaels in Smithfield, Isle of Wight county, Va. In 1848 he entered Emory and Henry College, 
with the view of preparing himself for the law, but God ordered it otherwise. In 1850, on the 
Jonesville circuit, Holston Conference, he was licensed to preach as a local preacher. He at once 
returned to the home of his childhood, in Eastern Virginia. Rev. W. B. Rowzie, Presiding Elder 
of Petersburg district, appointed him to help Rev. T. H. Jones on Smithfield circuit. In November 
of same year he joined the Virginia Conference at its session in Richmond, Va., at which Conference 
he was stationed at Manchester, Va. In 1851 he was assigned to High-street, Petersburg ; 1852 to 
Manchester ; 1853 to Harrisonburg, Va. ; 1854 he was appointed to form a congregation at Wesfey 
chapel, Petersburg; 1855 returned to Wesley chapel, Petersburg; 1856 Hertford, N. C. ; 1857 
Clark circuit. He had the honor of laying the first brick in the Southern Methodist church in Win- 
chester. In 1858 located for the purpose of traveling in the West. He was ordained deacon by 
Bishop Capers at Fredericksburg, 1852 ; Elder by Bishop Pierce at Norfolk, 1854. From January, 
1859, to December, 1869, he was in Texas. In the spring of 1859 he had charge of the Masonic 
Academy in Hempstead in that State. In the fall of the same year he joined the East Texa^ Con- 



METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, SOUTH. 65 

ference at Palestine, from which he was sent to Clarke and McKensie College. In July, 1860, he 
was elected President of Starville Female Institute, a Conference school, to which he was appointed 
by Bishop Andrew in the following November. In September of 1861 his health failed, and he lo- 
cated in November. Prom 1862 to 1866 he traveled and preached as he was able. He spent 1867 
in the home of his youth. In 1868, in feeble health, he took work again in the Virginia Conference, 
first under E. P. Wilson, Presiding Elder, Clover Hill and Coal Field. He re-entered Virginia Con- 
ference 1869, and was sent to Nelson circuit ; 1870 was stationed at Second-street, Portsmouth ; 
1871 '75 on Henrico and Charles City circuit ; 1875 sent to Matthews circuit ; 1876-79 sent to Han- 
over ; 1879 Chesterfield circuit. 



Rev. John Gallatin Rowe. 

rPHIS minister is a type of the best workers in Methodism. Wise conning of plans and then 
J_ energy in execution are the elements in the character of such men. There is no ravelling in 
their works, no weeds in their fence corners. Prudence and grit are well mixed in them. What- 
ever the Conference commits to Bowe, all are sure there will be no half way measures nor collapse. 
There is a certain religious thrift in his conduct of affairs. An old church, partly complete, with a 
cowed membership, will be transformed into a neat and handsome edifice, and a spirited congrega- 
tion under his magical wand. A dead Sunday-school gets life by contact with his electric courage. 
He vivifies everything. He aims at results. Compliments to his preaching do not satisfy his 
sense of duty. He enjoys the bloom and fragments, but is anxious till he sees the rich clusters and 
the ripe fuits. A quick, though slender, pushing man, a clubable, social person withal. 

He is the son of George and Lucy Bowe, and was born in Fredericksburg, Virginia, February 
27th, 1827. He was educated chiefly at the Fredericksburg Male Academy, of which Thomas H. 
Hanson, one of the best linguists, was Principal, and Messrs. Powell and Forbes, Professors. His par- 
ents were strict members of the Baptist church. From his earliest recollection, he attended Sunday 
school and the ministry of the word in this church. He professed religion, October 27th, 1847, at 
a revival in Fredericksburg, under the ministry of Bev. John Lanahan, of the Baltimore Conference, 
Methodist Episcopal Church. There was no Methodist Episcopal Church, South, in Fredericksburg 
at that time ; the next year (1848), the church divided, and he united with Methodist Episcopal 
Church, South. As his parents, two brothers and two sisters, and all his relatives and friends who 
belonged to any church, were members of the Baptist church, and he wished to join the Methodist 
church, if he could conscientiously, he took time to consider the matter well. After a few weeks of 
deliberation and prayer, he joined the Methodist church. He soon felt called to preach, was licensed 
to exhort in the fall of 1848, and licensed to preach, January, 1849. He was then employed by 
Bev. J. H Davis, Presiding Elder, to labor on Westmoreland circuit, of which Bev. H. H. Gary was 

9 



66 SKETCHES OF THE VIRGINIA CONFERENCE, 

preacher in charge. The change from an active to a sedentary life, constant and hard study, pro- 
duced indigestion to such an extent, he was compelled in the Spring to leave the circuit and rest 
from work. His health improving, he joined the Virginia Annual Conference at Petersburg, Novem- 
ber 7th, 1849, and was appointed to Mecklenburg as junior preacher. In 1851 and 1852, Middlesex, 
a new circuit, of five appointments cut off from Gloucester, to be served by a single man, but he 
was married. Captain Robert Healey, a rich and liberal steward, invited him to bring his wife to his 
house. At the first Quarterly Meeting, he proposed to the Quarterly Conference if they would raise 
the quarterage, he would board the preacher and his family without charge. At the close of the 
year he wrote the Presiding Elder of the district, if Brother Eowe was returned, he would board 
him and his family on the same terms, but would not agree to board any other preacher in the Con 
ference. He was reappointed to Middlesex, and reckons those years among the happiest of his life. 
There were eighty-three conversions ; 1853, Cumberland, 64 converts ; 1854, Pasquotank. As he did 
not go to this field of labor, he made the following record of the matter and his work in 1854, which 
we copy : "As my health was bad last year, I concluded at one time not to take work this year, but 
was persuaded to do so by some of the preachers and one of the Presiding Elders promising I 
should be provided with work suitable to my case. When the appointments were made, the work 
was so unsuitable ; sixteen appointments in four weeks ; one of the Presiding Elders advised me not 
to go. I was engaged in merchandise for a living, and preached at appointments, near and in Fred 
ericksburg. I preached in Fredericksburg a good deal the latter part of this year, as Brother Chris 
tian, the pastor, had to leave on account of ill health." 

In 1855 and 1856, King George, forty-eight conversions; 1857 and 1858, Westmoreland. In 
1857, Bev. John H. Payne (now dead) was his colleague, there was a revival at every one of the 
seven appointments, resulting in two hundred and sixtj' conversions. 

1859 and 1860, Caroline, eighty-four conversions ; 1861 and 1862, Middlesex. Owing to the 
condition of the country on account of the war, he only held two protracted meetings of a few days 
at which there were some few conversions, ten or fifteen. 1863, 1864, 1865, King and Queen, two 
hundred and twenty-seven conversions ; 1866, 1867, 1868, 1869 till May, Caroline, one hundred and 
eighty-three conversions. In May, 1869, he was appointed agent for the Virginia Conference Sun- 
day-school Society, which post he filled until Conference 1871 ; he was then appointed agent of the 
Virginia Bible Society, in which service he labored until Conference 1877, when he was appointed 
to Caroline the third time. The circuit had been divided in 1876, and he only had four of the seven 
appointments, which formerly constituted Caroline. There were seventy-two conversions in this 
charge in 1878. At this time, June, 1880, he has charge of Caroline. During the time he has been 
in the pastorate, he was instrumental in building three churches, and completing two ; and in pur- 
chasing and furnishing one parsonage. 



METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, SOUTH. 67 



Rev. Robert Milton Saunders. 

PRESIDENT Saunders comes of Wesleyan ancestry. His parents and grand-parents were Metho- 
dists. Their houses were homes for the itinerants. His grand-father on his mother's side was 
an officer in the war of Eevolution, receiving a grant of land from the Commonwealth of Virginia 
for his services. Mr. Saunders is a Georgian, having been born in Culloden, Upshur county, of that 
State, May 30th, 1830. His father was from North Carolina, and his mother from Virginia. 

Mr. Saunders joined the Methodist church on profession in 1844, and the Alabama Conference 
in 1848. He was in charge of a circuit before he was eighteen years old, and continued in the 
itinerant work till 1859, when he was elected President of Tuskaloosa Female College, which was 
under the patronage of his Conference. In 1865, he resigned the presidency, and in 1866 went to 
Germany, where he was engaged in educational work. He returned in 1869, and established the 
Norfolk Collegiate Institute for young ladies. Since that date, with the exception of a year, he has 
been in the Virginia Conference. 

Mr. Saunders is a cultured, courtly gentleman and eminently successful in building up the 
charges committed to his hands and very popular. He is married, and his wife is a superior woman, 
both by reason of rare endowment and wide and thorough cultivation. He is now the President 
of the College for young ladies in Norfolk. 



Rev. James Richard Waggener. 

HE is a native of Clark county, Virginia, and in his fiftieth year. He was born on the 24th of Jan 
uary, 1830, and born again at a meeting, conducted by Revs. G. W. Harper • and James P. 
Brannin in September, 1848. He went through the old Methodist curriculum of classleader, exhor- 
ter and local preacher. The Virginia Conference received him on trial in 1849, and he continues a 
member to this date. His career has been marked with revivals of great power and numbers. 
Whether in the Confederate Army, or in the Valley of Virginia, or in the eastern section of the 
State the ministrations of Mr. Waggener have brought large increase to the church. At a meeting 
held in Rockbridge, two hundred and thirty-seven were converted. On the Buckingham circuit in 
1864 nearly five hundred made a profession. He has enjoyed universal popularity in his charges. 
The simple statement that he has married nearly seven hundred couples, testifies to the personal 
consideration in which he has been held. 

Mr. Waggener has quiet and winning manners in the social circle, and persuasive speech in the 
•pulpit. He is the father of the Rev. W. 0. Waggener, of the Virginia Conference. His second 
work had twenty-eight appointments in one month — -the Valley Circuit. 



68 SKETCHES OF THE VIRGINIA CONFERENCE, 



Rev. Lemuel Sutton Reed. 

THE Commonwealth of North Carolina claims another son in Mr. Reed, and one whose record 
will honor the old North State. He is a native of Perquimans county, his birth dating from the 
5th of May, 1819. His ancestral trunk surely is of English oak. Mr. Eeed has the build of the 
proverbial representative of Brittannia. There is a show of the poise and solidity of the Briton — 
a man of collected powers, and fitted for the conduct of affaijjs. He was taken from the local ranks 
with a considerable family and put in the itineracy — a strong proof that some wise head had dis- 
covered good timber. He was converted on the 13th day of August, 1838, at Oak Grove church, 
in his native county, under the ministry of Rev. Gervas M. Keesee, and joined the church at once. 
His youth and diffidence made him keep silence as to his call to preach for some time. He followed 
the vocation of a teacher. In 1846 he began as a local preacher, and continued for three years. 
He entered the Virginia Conference in 1849 ; ordained deacon in 1851 by Bishop Andrew, and Elder 
by Bishop Paine in 1853. He has served in some of the hardest work- and many of the most 
pleasant appointments in the Conference, ranging from the mountains to the North Carolina coast. 
One year, for the sake of being near an aged female connection, he served a circuit in the Baltimore 
Conference. He has been one of the advisers of the Bishop for twelve years, and is now the Elder 
of the Danville district. His work as acting Bishop through these years have proven of permanent 
value to the Church. He has not lost a month by sickness since his connection with the Conference. 
He has served three times in the General Conference — 1866, 1874, and 1878. He has used books 
to advantage, but is not a bookish man. His expositions are lucid and the language is well-fitted 
to the thought ; he uses brief notes. 

Mr. Reed has been married twice. His first wife was Miss White of Pasquotank, North Caro- 
lina, and his second Mrs. Kyle, of Harrisonburg, Virginia. He was fortunate in his selections ; 
they were helpmeets to him. A daughter is the wife of the Rev. J. W. Blincoe, of the Conference, 
and a son is a member of the body. Three others are prosperous and honorable citizens of the 
West. A bright little girl of a dozen summers is the only issue by the second marriage. His two 
oldest boys served through the war and surrendered at Appomattox. One of these, the Rev. JameB 
C. Reed lost an arm in the conflict. 



METB0D1ST EPISCOPAL CHtJRCE, SOVTH. 69 



Rev. William Field Bain. 

HE is the third son of Eev. George A. and Prances M. Bain, and was born in Williamsburg, Vir- 
ginia, July 20th, 1831. His father being a member of the Virginia Conference, his son spent 
his boyhood, up to his 15th year, in the itinerancy. His father then located his family in the 
city of Petersburg, Virginia, while in his 16th year. Young Bain was converted on the 8th day of 
April, 1847, under the ministry of Eev. G. W. Langhorne, and joined the church on the 11th as a 
probationer, and after six months' trial, was received in full connection ; was made class-leader by 
Bev. N. Head in 1850 ; was licensed to preach by the Quarterly Conference of Washington-Street 
station, and recommended to the Virginia Conference to be received on trial in October, 1851, Bev. 
H. B. Cowles, Presiding Elder. He was received at the Conference holding its session in Alexan- 
dria. He has traveled the following circuits : 1852, Gloucester, as junior, with Bev. L. S. Beed ; 
1853, Murfreesboro, North Carolina, with Bev. J. D. Lumsden ; ordained deacon in Lynchburg by 
Bishop Paine ; 1854, contrary to his expressed wishes, was sent in charge of and appointed to Fau- 
quier ; 1855, Mannassas ; ordained Elder in Petersburg by Bishop James O. Andrew ; 1856, Lunen- 
burg ; 1857, Staunton circuit ; 1858, Matthews ; 1859, Amelia ; 1860-61, Springfield ; 1862-'63-'64-'65, 
Westmoreland ; 1866-'67-'68-'69, Lancaster ; 1870-71-72, King George ; 1873-'74-'75-'76, Camp- 
bell ; 1877—78 -'79- '80 Bedford. When he joined the Conference he made two vows unto the Lord : 
First, he would marry no lady until he had traveled four yours ; second, he would never locate until 
God located him in the grave. The first he kept ; the second, he is keeping, and hopes to keep 
unto the end. 

If a census of opinion was made in the Virginia Conference as to the men who would have, 
stood by the prisoner of the Pretorium, one name would certainly be on the list — William Field 
Bain. His mind is made up. A sense of duty rules his actions. In the pulpit he declares the 
whole counsel of God. His sermons are not the playings of a lute, tickling the fancy and pleading for 
applause. They are the outgivings of a man bent on acquiting himself of a high responsibility. 
There will be no blood of shiners unwarned on his garments. As a pastor he is faithful in small as 
well as great matters — conscientious and diligent. He shirks no duty, however irksome ; he neglects 
no means to bring success to the glorious cause. This clear headed, large-hearted, firm and inde- 
fatigable minister brings a blessing wherever he labors. 



70 SKETCHES OF THE VIRGINIA CONFERENCE, 



Rev. William Henry Christian, A. M. 

GRACE and culture, woven on a native woof of sterling character, has given the Conference a min- 
ister beloved for his noble qualities and admired for his wise work in the Church. The welfare 
of Zion is his chief joy. High motives control his life ; unworthy acts are an abomination to him. 
A conscience void of offence towards God and man is his exalted aim. He never falters in duty. 
His voice and face invite confidence, and no man ever regretflfed opening his heart to him. He has 
served the Church in important positions, (gaining always a host of attached friends,) and built 
up the Kingdom of God. 

His parents were Edmund and Mary Christian, and he was born in New Kent county, Virginia, 
on the 8th day of June, 1825. His father, a farmer in comfortable circumstances, afforded him such 
educational advantages as were to be enjoyed in the neighborhood until he was old enough to profit 
by collegiate instruction. At this time he repaired to Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania, 
where he remained for eighteen months. Subsequently he attended Randolph Macon College, Vir- 
ginia, for two sessions, when he graduated as Bachelor of Arts, and in due course his A. M. degree 
was conferred upon him." He also graduated in some of the schools of the Virginia University, 
where he spent one session. He was converted in the 16th year of his age, at a camp-meeting in 
Charles City county. A moral youth, but full of life and gaiety, he visited the meeting with no 
idea of attending then -to the great interests of his soul. The Truth, however, made its impres - 
sion, and he sought and found the pearl of great price. The workings of his mind in connection 
with his conversion may be of profit to others. Deeply convicted under the preaching of the. Word, 
he promised a friend, during the recess, that he would present himself as a subject for prayer in 
the afternoon. "When that time came, however, his emotion was gone, and he felt the greatest aver 
sion to presenting himself openly as a penitent, asking the prayers of God's people for his conver- 
sion ; but his word had been given, and he must go, and he did go, with no feeling on the subject 
except that of aversion to the step which he was taking. At the altar he concluded that he would 
seek religion for a few days — it was worth that effort — and if he succeeded — well ; if not, he would 
give up the struggle. The days came and passed, but of course our penitent found no peace in 
this state of mind. The camp-meeting was soon to close, and the thought flashed upon his mind 
I have been a penitent, and of course I cannot enjoy my gay and worldly companions as I once did, 
and yet I am not a Christian, and can have no comfort in that direction. Then and there he deter 
mined to find peace, if it could be found, though it might cost him a life-time effort and struggle. 
It was not long after this consideration before God, for Christ's sake, shed abroad His love in his 
heart, and enabled him to read his title clear to mansions in the skies. But in a very short time 
after his conversion Satan carried him through a more severe ordeal. He was tempted to think that 
he had been mistaken about the matter ; that he had never been converted. He determined to go 
again to God in prayer, and for a day and almost an entire night, he wrestled in earnest pleading 
before God, until the darkness rolled away, and he was satisfied beyond a question of his acceptance 
of God, and never since has he doubted of the thoroughness of his conversion to God. After his 
graduation he taught school at an Academy near Wilmington, North Carolina, for a year ; and then 



METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, SOUTH. 71 

in November, 1852, in the town of Fredericksburg, Virginia, he united himself with the Virginia 
Conference, and from that day to the present has been engaged in the active work of the Church. 
His first appointment was to Fredericksburg, the seat of the Conference session, at which he joined, 
where he served two years. He was then appointed Professor in the Warrenton Female College, 
where he remained until elected President of the Ealeigh Female College, which was a most flour- 
ishing institution. There he remained until, in 1857, he accepted the Presidency of the Petersburg 
Female College. Impaired health, from a severe attack of the measles while stationed in Freder - 
icksburg, induced him to accept a position at first in a literary institution, and now, with restored 
health, he again entered the active pastorate and was sent as Presiding Elder to the Farmville dis- 
trict in 1859. There he remained for three years, and then, at the beginning of the war between 
the North and the South, he was stationed in Richmond. After spending two years at Union Sta- 
tion, a delightful pastorate to him, at the end of his lawful term at that place, he was sent to Clay- 
Streetchurch, Richmond, Virginia, where he remained for two years, and then, at the close of the war, 
he was sent as Presiding Elder to the Danville district. Remaining there three years, he was next 
stationed at Dinwiddie-Street church (now Monumental), Portsmouth. At the end of two years he 
was transferred to Manchester ; thence, at the end of two years, to Lynchburg, where he spent 
four years as the pastor of Centenary church, and at the end of his term there he was appointed to 
Cumberland-Street church, Norfolk, where, at the end of his third year, he was made Presiding 
Elder of the Murfeesboro district, his present position. 

Mr. Christian's call to the ministry was clear and decided ; in fact, from early boyhood the im- 
pression was upon his mind that he would have to preach. He had other plans. After graduation 
profitable positions, promising ease and luxury, offered themselves, but he felt that he must preach 
or lose his soul, and so he yielded to what he felt was God's imperative demand upon him. During 
his ministry, in every pastoral charge which he has occupied, God has graciously revived His work 
and strengthened His cause. 



Rev. Alexander M'Caine Hall. 

A NIMBLE and incisive mind answers to that name on the Conference roll. It is as bright and 
edged as a spring lancet. It has sometimes bled the wrong subject. Hall is a master of 
bizarre and biting satire. He shoots a briar for an arrow. And withal, there is naught of cruelty 
in him. He has let run to waste — washed away out into the sea — a wealth and mine of native gifts 
that would have made him, if miserly of his natural gifts, a millionaire in fame. He is a preacher 
of superior ability, and has many attached friends. He is married, and delights in a happy family. 
His parents were Horatio and Eliza Hall, and he is a native of Norfolk, Virginia. He was 
born May 6th, 1830. The first of his early education was received at home, his parents being per- 
sons cultivated and literary in their taste. After the death of his mother, he went to several good 
teachers until he was about sixteen years of age. He finished his education at Randolph Macon 
College. A few years of his life were spent as a clerk, in a dry goods house in Norfolk. From child 7 



72 SKETCHES OF THE VIRGINIA CONFERENCE, 

hood he was religiously inclined — and although from infancy, naturally self willed, and imperious 
in disposition, he never at any period of life lost sight of the " one thing needful," the religion of 
Christ. 

Before he ever made a formal profession of religion, he felt that he was at some period of life 
to preach the Gospel. 

From the time that Mr. Hall was received into the Virginia Conference, he has filled the follow- 
ing pastoral charges : Bedford circuit, 1853, with Bev. Bobert Scott as preacher in charge ; 1854, 
Lexington, with Bev. John L. Clark, senior preacher ; 1855, Pasquotank, as assistant to Bev. A. 
Wiles ; in 1856, he was sent to Indian Bidge circuit, as preacher in charge for the first time ; 1857, 
York circuit ; 1858, James City and New Kent ; 1859, South of Dan ; 1860, returned to York cir- 
cuit ; 1861, he was sent to Eastville. Here, at the end of Conference year, the troubles of the war 
forced him to leave for "Williamsburg. 

In 1862 he did not take any regular work. In 1863 he did such work on the Peninsula as the • 
operations of the army would allow ; 1864 he was appointed to Chesterfield ; in 1865 was re-ap- 
pointed to the south of Dan ; 1866-67, Bannister circuit ; 1871-72-73, Williamsburg ; 1874-75, 
Matthews circuit: 1876-'77-'78-'79, he travelled the Chesterfield circuit ; 1880, Camden. 

In the early part of 1849 he professed religion, and connected himself with the Methodist 
Episcopal Church, South, Cumberland Street, Norfolk, while Bev. John E. Edwards, D. D., was pas- 
tor of that church. From the time that he joined the church, Dr. Edwards always manifested a 
high degree of interest in him, and did much to bring him out and develop his Christian character. 
After the completion of Granby Street church, and the membership was formally organized by Bev. 
Dr. Edwards, he withdrew from Cumberland Street and joined the newly formed church, where he 
could still be under the faithful and fatherly care of the pastor, who first received him into the 
church. 

In the fall of 1852, after examination before the Quarterly Conference in Norfolk, he was re- 
commended to be received on trial by the Virginia Conference, and was received at its session, held 
in the city of Fredericksburg, Virginia. 



Rev. Joseph John Edwards. 

TI1HE likeness of this minister does not belie the character. The rounded and pleasing features 
_L give token of an equable mind and a genial temper. It would be evidence of excessive ill. 
breeding to find a man rude to so gracious a gentleman. Mr. Edwards moves through life with no 
angularites to annoy, or petty vanities to be annoyed. A welcome awaits him when his brethren 
meet him in Conference, or when he turns to any hearthstone in his charge. 

He has enjoyed excellent advantages of mental training. He is well equipped by study and 
careful preparation for a successful career in the pulpit. Many of his discourses are of care, polish 
and literary adorments. He delivers them with grace and force. He is the father of the Bev. T. 
0. Edwards, of the Virginia Conference. 




J. E Potts_ 



METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, SOUTH. 73 

He is a son of J. D. and Phoebe Edwards, was bom in Surry county, Virginia, December 28, 
1826. His ancestors were from England. He received his education at Eichmond, and William 
and Mary College. After this, he studied law at the law school of the Hon. Mr. Maxwell, Eich- 
mond, Virginia. In the year 1849, in the city of Norfolk, Virginia, he commenced the practice 
of law. 

In September of the same year he was converted under the ministry of Eev. John E. Edwards, 
D. D., then pastor of Cumberland Street church, Norfolk, Virginia. He felt it his duty to become 
a minister, and, in the fall of 1850 he joined the Virginia Annual Conference. His first charge was 
Gosport station, now called Second Street, Portsmouth, Virginia. At this place he had a revival 
meeting, which lasted from May to October. In 1851 and 1852, he was sent to Suffolk, Virginia ; 
1853, Eastville circuit, Virginia ; 1854, Charles City circuit, Virginia ; 1855, Parmville, Virginia ; 
1856, Greensville circuit, Virginia ; 1857, Eichmond, Virginia ; but. before the close of the year he 
was sent to Hampton, Virginia, to fill a vacancy caused by the sickness of Eev. J. P. Woodward. 
In 1858-59, Hertford, North Carolina; 1860-61, Pasquotank circuit, North Carolina; 1862-63, 
Harrellsville, North Carolina ; 1864, Sussex circuit, but the parsonage being destroyed, and the 
Northern forces having possession of that county, the Presiding Elder told him to remain on the 
Harrellsville circuit. In 1865, Currituck circuit, North Carolina ; 1866 he was transferred to the 
Baltimore Conference ; in 1867-68, West Eiver circuit, Maryland ; 1869, Kent circuit, Maryland ; 
1870, Gap Mills circuit, West Virginia; 1871, transferred to Virginia Conference and sent to Hamp- 
ton, Virginia, to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Eev. T. C. Jennings ; 1871, South Norfolk 
circuit, remaining four years ; 1875, Princess Anne circuit, staying four years. At all these places 
he was blessed with gracious revivals. He is now on Gates circuit. 



Rev- Peter Archer Peterson. 

AT the desk of the Secretaries in the Virginia Conference, is the serene, yet busy man who keeps 
the journal, attends the Cabinet, and is ready to wrestle in debate with the stoutest champions- 
He shows a superb physique, when he is up and animated by a close discussion. He is a model of 
manly grace of figure. His voice is round, flexible and penetrating. He has a knack of saying wise 
and plausible things in a persuading way. He excels on the Conference floor. On the hustings 
he would be well nigh irresistible. It is told that when a boy at a mass meeting to raise troops for 
the Mexican War, where noted speakers failed to arouse the patriotism of the crowd, he, without a 
moment's thought, '-'gave an exhortation" that stirred the wildest enthusiasm. It was his first speech. 
It is said that an eminent man, who heard him, begged him not to enlist in the war, but to study 
law. The stripling shook his head and went to the Eio Grande in the Virginia Eegiment. 

He has the magnetism that draws men. The Virginia Conference make their boast on Archie 
10 



74 SKETCHES OF THE VIRGINIA CONFERENCE, 

Peterson as a genuine specimen of the old time Methodist preacher. They rely on his judgment, 
and know his heart is right. He is busy himself, and has the art of setting others to work. Churches 
grow under his hand. 

He is the son of William M. and Martha A. Peterson ; was born in Petersburg, Virginia, Sep- 
tember 28th, 1828. 

"When just fourteen years of. age, he professed religion under the ministry of Eev. Joseph 
Carson, at a meeting held in the village of Ettrick, in Chesterfield county, near which place he was 
residing with his parents. He immediately joined the church, uniting with the society then wor- 
shipping on Plumb Street in Petersburg, and from which sprung the High Street station,. of 
that city. 

In 1846, he entered the army for the war, then existing between the United States and the 
Bepubhc of Mexico, and was elected a lieutenant in company "E" raised in Petersburg, and which 
formed a part of the First Regiment Virginia Volunteers. He served honorably in the field, until 
the close of the campaign in July, 1848, when he returned to his native place and resumed his 
former pursuits. On the 28th of December following, he was united in marriage with Lucy Ann, 
daughter of George "Williamson, of Petersburg. 

Soon after professing "religion, he was strongly exercised about entering the ministry, but limited 
educational advantages, and particularly his entrance into the army, seemed to extinguish all hope 
in that direction, and for a time the subject was laid aside. Upon his return from Mexico, however, 
his former impressions revived and deepened ■ daily, and finally the conviction of a call to preach 
became so strong, that he determined to close his now promising secular business, and to offer him- 
self for the itinerant work. In 1850, he was appointed class-leader by Rev. Nelson Head, pastor of 
High Street station ; and in September, 1851, with the unanimous consent of the Leaders' Meeting, 
the Rev. F. J. Boggs, preacher in charge, gave him license to exhort. In September, 1852, the 
Quarterly Conference gave him a recommendation to the Virginia Annual Conference, by which he 
was admitted on trial into the travelling connection at the session held in Fredericksburg, Virginia, 
in October of that year, Bishop Capers presiding. He was admitted into full connection and or- 
dained. deacon by Bishop Pierce, at Norfolk, December, 1854, and ordained elder by Bishop Early, 
at Richmond, December, 1856. 

The first appointment filled by Mr. Peterson was Dinwiddie circuit, to which he was sent as 
junior preacher with Rev. Jesse K. Powers. In 1853, he was put in charge of Mecklenburg circuit, 
and had a prosperous year ; in 1854, on the Gloucester circuit where he labored for two years with 
great success ; in 1856, was transferred to Amelia circuit, and from there in 1857 to Fincastle circuit, 
Botetourt county, a " border" appointment, where the feeling then unhappily existing between the 
adherents of the Northern and the Southern Methodist churches, rendered the outlook exceedingly 
discouraging. But soon better counsels prevailed, peace returned, and the close of the year wit- 
nessed large accessions to the church. In 1859, he was sent to Amherst circuit, and served two 
years. In the fall of 1860, he was appointed to succeed Rev. Charles H. Hall, at Dinwiddie Street, 
Portsmouth. In this pleasant charge, then containing six hundred members, his labors were soon 
greatly increased by the presence of a large body of Southern troops brought together by the open- 
ing of the civil war. In may, 1862, the cities of Norfolk and Portsmouth were evacuated by the 
Confederate forces, and Mr. Peterson having reason to apprehend that the Federal authorities would 
not permit him to continue his pastoral relations, if indeed he should be allowed personal liberty, 
deemed it best to retire, and so left with the Southern army, in which he was soon after commis- 



METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, SOUTH. 75 

sioned as Chaplain. He served efficiently in this capacity to the 12th regiment of Virginia infantry 
until the following November, when he was appointed by Bishop Early Presiding Elder of the 
Lynchburg district. Here he remained four years, and was then (in 1866) appointed to Union Sta- 
tion, Eichmond, where he served one year, the exigencies of the work requiring his transfer to 
Cumberland-Street, Norfolk. In the latter charge, which increased greatly under his administra- 
tion, he remained four years, at the expiration of which time he was made Presiding Elder of the 
Norfolk district, and spent four years in that work. Prom the Norfolk district he was appointed, 
in 1875, to Clay-Street station, Eichmond, where, for two years, considerable success followed his 
labors. In 1877 he was transferred from Eichmond to Main-Street station, Danville, Virginia, where 
he is serving at the time this sketch closes. He has been a member of four General Conferences, 
namely : 1866, 1870, 1874 and 1878. He served eight years as a member of the General Book 
Committee, and is now a member of the Parent Board of Missions. He is one of the secretaries 
of the Conference. 



Rev. Edward Marshall Peterson. 

THE Elder of the Farmville district has vim, familiarity with books, and stirring speech. He is 
a student and a worker. He brings out of his treasuries things new and old, and puts his choice 
collection to practical use. The church prospers under his hand. He is a ready and pithy writer. 
He is tall, and with something of the features of a native of summer climes. His eyes and hair are 
jet, and the cast of his face is akin to the Castilian type. He presents a figure that would catch 
the eye. Petersburg is his place of birth. He is in his 49th year. The Eev. George W. Lang- 
horne was his spiritual father, who was then in charge of the Washington Street church. Mr. Pe- 
terson was in his fifteenth year at his conversion, and soon after he received his call to the ministry. 
His pastor aided him in preparation for the work. 

At the suggestion of Eev. W. B. Eowzie, the friend of his early youth, he entered Eandolph 
Macon College in his seventeenth year, his father sharing the expense as far as his means would 
permit, timely aid being rendered by Eev. H. G. Leigh, in whose family he boarded for four years. 

During a college vacation his father died, when he gave up the hope of ever returning to col- 
lege. Learning this, that man of God, D'Arcy Paul, extended his sympathy add help, and became 
a father to the fatherless boy in his struggle to obtain education. 

While at Eandolph Macon College he received license to preach, and united himself with the 
Virginia Conference in 1832, in which he has been laboring steadily at the Gospel oar ever since. 

His first appointment was to Gosport station, (now Second Street, Portsmouth) ; in 1854 he 
was stationed in Manchester. The years 1855-6 he spent in Edenton, North Carolina, where he was 
instrumental in building a new church. , In 1857 he was stationed at Suffolk, a revival of considera- 



76 SKETCHES OF THE VIRGINIA CONFERENCE, 

ble interest folio-wing his labors there. In 1858-9 he was stationed at Clay Street chapel, Bich- 
mond, Virginia, during which time a beautiful church was substituted for the old chapel. The year 
1860 he spent in Winchester ; 1861, Lexington ; 1862, Appomattox ; 1863, Suffolk ; 1864-'5, Peters- 
burg ; 1866-7-8, Clay Street, Richmond ; 1869-70, Gloucester circuit ; 1871-2, Clay Street, Eich- 
mond ; 1873-4, High Street, Petersburg ; 1875-6, Cumberland Street, Norfolk ; in 1856, he was 
put in charge of the Farmville district, which he is at present serving. 

He has never been absent from any session of the Conference since he joined it. Revivals of 
religion have attended his ministry in all the appointments he has filled save two. The most ex- 
tensive were at Clay Street, Gloucester and Norfolk. 



Rev. Alexander Gustavus Brown. 

FOE more than a quarter of a century he has served the church as an itinerant minister. His ex- 
perience has been varied. Beginning on a mission he has served on the circuits, in the stations, 
as Presiding Elder, and as a Financial Secretary of Eandolph Macon College, of which he is a trus- 
tee. For fifteen years he has been Chairman of the Joint Board of Finance of the Conference, and 
has had much to do with its financial plans. He was a member of the General Conference of 1870 ; 
and an alternate elect in 1874 and 1878. He is in the 47th year of his age, full of robust health 
and energy, never having missed an appointment on account of ill-health. Having declined tempt- 
ing offers to engage in secular business, all his talents are consecrated to the " great work," which 
he is pushing forward with energy and discretion. He is strong in the pulpit and in debate. 

He was born in Stephensburg, Frederick county, Virginia, February 22d, 1833. He is the 
younger son of Dr. Gustavus A. S. and Nancy Brown, both of whom were Virginians, " to the 
manner born." On his father's side his ancestors were Scotch, and on his mother's side they were of 
Irish descent. His parents were active members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. His father 
died in the faith when Mr. Brown was not quite two years old, falling a victim in early manhood to 
his professional labors. When he was but a child his mind was deeply impressed on the subject of 
religion by the devotional habits and earnest piety of his widowed mother, who still lives, spending 
the evening of a long life in his family. His early education was received, for the most part, in the 
Academy of Greenway-Court, Clark county, Virginia. He was converted under the ministry of the 
Eev. Joseph Carson, at Shiloh meeting- house, Eappahannock county, Virginia, in the summer of the 
year 1848, and united, at once, with the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. His mind was soon 
exercised on the subject of the ministry. Feeling that he was called of God to this great work, 
and that his literary preparation was inadequate, he selected Hillsboro' Academy, and afterwards 
New Lisbon Classical Institute, both in Loudon county, Virginia, where, in connection with his 
theology, he prosecuted his academic studies. He was prevented from finishing his education at 



METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, SOUTH. 77 

Randolph Macon College by the advice of influential ministers, who urged him to enter the minis- 
try -without further delay. 

In the spring of the year 1853, he was licensed as a local preacher by the Quarterly Conference 
of Loudon circuit, and was employed by the Rev. George W. Carter, Presiding Elder of Washing- 
ton district, to assist the Rev. John Lewis, on Mannassas Mission.. He was received into the Virginia 
Annual Conference, at its session in Lynchburg, Virginia, October, 1853, and placed in charge of 
Rock Creek circuit, composed of four appointments, or preaching places, one in the District of Co 
lumbia, one in Montgomery county, Maryland, and two in Prince George county, Maryland. This, 
which was his first pastoral charge, was also the first pastoral appointment of the Southern Metho- 
dist church in the State of Maryland. Several churches in the vicinity of Baltimore, Howard 
county, Maryland, were added to the circuit ; and the next year the Rev. Joseph H. Amiss, was sent 
to assist him. Three new churches were built, and large and valuable additions were made to the 
membership of the church. He was elected to deacon's orders, and ordained by Bishop James 0. 
Andrew, D. D., at the Conference, held in Petersburg, Virginia, November, 1855. The Bishop 
was requested to appoint him to the city of Baltimore, where it was thought a Southern Methodist 
church might be organized, under favorable auspices ; but declining to do so, he was sent to Fairfax 
circuit. Hence he went to Harrisonburg and Woodstock, in the Valley of Virginia. At the Con 
ference, held in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, November, 1857, he was elected to elder's orders, 
and ordained by Bishop George P. Pierce, D. D. The chaplaincy of Randolph Macon College was 
his next appointment, where his intimate association with the distinguished President and Faculty 
of the institution gave him valuable opportunities for the prosecution of his theological and literary 
studies. Third-Street church, Lynchburg, was his next charge ; and his ministry here was crowned 
with great success. Many souls were converted and added to the church, and Centenary, a large 
and handsome church edifice, was built, paid for, and dedicated to the worship of Almighty God. 

On the 6th day of January, 1859, he was married to Miss Fannie A. Cooksey, of Fairfax coun- 
ty, Virginia, who has filled her place in the sisterhood of Methodist preachers' wives, with unfal- 
tering fidelity to its duties. In November, 1860, he was sent; to Trinity church, Richmond, then 
worshipping in the old church on Franklin street, next to the Exchange Hotel. The elegant lecture 
room of the new church, corner of Broad and Twentieth streets, was finished and occupied by the 
congregation on Sunday, February 3, 1861. The war between the States greatly exasperated the 
public mind, and called the young men to the field of battle ; yet the membership increased, and 
the congregation steadily grew in numbers and influence. In November, 1862, he was appointed 
to High-Street church, Petersburg, where much of the time under Federal shot and shell, he was 
blessed with a revival of religion, in which more than two hundred souls were converted. 

From November, 1864 to November, 1866, Mr. Brown was in charge of Bedford circuit ; from 
November, 1866, to November, 1870, he was Presiding Elder of Lynchburg district ; in November, 
1870, he was Presiding Elder of Norfolk district. At the close of his first year, on this district, he 
was appointed Financial Secretary of Randolph Macon College ; and entering at once upon the 
arduous and responsible duties of his office, he faithfully performed them for four years. Return- 
ing to the pastoral work, at the Conference held in Danville, Virginia, November, 1875, he was sent 
to High-Street church, Petersburg ; and thence to Clay-Street church, Richmond, in November, 
1877, of which he is the pastor at this time. 



78 SKETCHES OF TEE VIRGINIA CONFERENCE, 



Rev. Joseph Ezekiel Potts, A. B. 

THIS minister has been held held back by a native diffidence. With a coarser grain in his con 
stitution he might have pushed himself into conspicuous position. He has been a student. His 
discretion never failed him. His discourses are always thoughtful. Yet without the ruder virtue 
that forces men forward into the public eye, he has attained a place of esteem for his ability, 
acquirements and success in the work of the ministry. * 

He is a native of Loudoun county. His birth place was near Hillsboro, date, 9th February, 
1831. Converted, January, 1846. He gives in a note an interesting narrative of his call to the 
ministry 

" I cannot tell ; it is connected with my earliest recollections ; I have no knowledge of the time 
when the call first began to be developed in my mind. 

"A fixed and steady impression on my mind that it was my duty to preach the gospel. This im 
pression was gradually and progressively developed in my mind from early childhood to conversion. 
The peculiar form in which this impression existed, was the following alternatives, viz. : Preach 
Christ and save your own soul; or, refuse to preach Christ and lose your own soul. Another feature 
of this impression was this, viz. : in the same proportion that religion was developed in the heart, 
this impression of duty to preach the gospel was intensified, but no one knew it. In the providence 
of God I attended the session of the Virginia Conference, held in Alexandria in October, 1851. 
There I heard Bishop Andrew preach on a " call to the ministry." I also heard the remarks of Rev. 
J. Early, D. D., (afterwards one of the Bishops of the church) on the same subject. My mind was 
now more fully exercised than before on this subject." 

He was licensed September 6th, 1852. He took work under the Elder on Fairfax circuit in 
1852. "In a small room of a new house at Dranesville in that county on December 5th, 1852, to 
twenty persons, I preached twenty minutes — my first sermon." He was received on trial in 1853, 
and sent to Potomac circuit. 

In 1854, he was sent to Hampshire circuit, but after reaching the circuit, he received a letter 
from the Elder, transferring him to "Warrenton circuit. In 1855, Patterson Creek ; in 1856, stationed 
in Williamsburg ; in 1857, Springfield circuit ; in 1858, James City and New Kent circuit ; in 1859 
and 1860, Smithfield circuit ; in 1861 and 1862, Southampton circuit ; in 1863, 1864 and 1865, Frank- 
lin circuit ; in 1866 and 1867, Bedford circuit ; in 1868, 1869, 1870 and 1871, Amelia circuit ; in 1872, 
Atlantic circuit ; in 1873, Hanover circuit which embraced Randolph Macon College ; in 1874, 1875, 
1876 and 1877 he was supernumerary on account of laryngitis. During this time he had charge 
of the Ashland Institute. In 1878, he was placed on the effective list, and sent to West Goochland 
circuit. 

He has had advantages at classical schools, Randolph Macon and William and Mary College, for 
educational training, and he did not fail to improve them. 

On June 14th, 1857, he was married to Miss Mary Ann Harrell, of Williamsburg, Virginia. 



METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH SOUTH. 7» 



Rev- George Henry Ray- 

THE pulpit work of Mr. Kay is instructive and engaging. His discourses have "marks of 
judicious study, familiarity with literature and the best writers on the Scriptures. His sermons 
are polished shafts, like the arm of " the godlike Pandarus, Lycaon's son," when 

' ' At once the arrow to the notch he drew, 
The sinew to his breast ; and to the bow 
The iron head. Then, when the mighty bow 
Was to a circle strained, sharp rang the horn ; 
With deadly speed the eager arrow sprang." 

Mr. Bay is tireless in labors and endowed with rare gifts in the conduct of affairs and with 
many engaging qualities. 

He was born in the district of Columbia, near Washington city, on the 21st of October, 1832, 
and is the son of Enos and Elizabeth Kay. His ancestors settled in what is now Anne Arrundel 
county, Md., in the first Protestant settlement, under Lord Baltimore, and were members of the 
church of England. His early education was had at Columbian College, a Baptist Institution near 
the city of Washington. His friends designed him for the legal profession, and at the time of his 
conversion, he was studing law under Judge Bradley of Washington city. In November, 1849, under 
a sermon preached by Rev. J. A. Duncan, D. D., from the text "Who will this day consecrate him- 
self to the service of the Lord?" he was awakened and converted, and shortly after joined the Metho- 
dist Episcopal Ch'urch, South, at Emory Chapel, where his father has been a leading member and 
steward for sixty years. In 1853, he followed the movings of the Spirit of God, and gave himself 
to the ministry of the Gospel, and began to preach under the Presiding Elder in June of that year, 
and was received on trial in the Virginia Conference at Lynchburg the ensuing November, and was 
sent as helper to Springfield and South Branch circuit, now divided into four or five pastoral charges. 
He was subsequently appointed to Fauquier circuit ; Clay Street church, Richmond ; Fredericksburg, 
Winchester, Harrisonburg, in all of which places his labors were greatly blessed. In the fall of 1860, 
he was appointed Chaplain to Randolph Macon College, where he took the course, and graduated in 
the schools of mental and moral philosophy and political economy ; at the ensuing Conference, No- 
vember, 1861, he was appointed pastor of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, in Washington 
city, but for political reasons declined to go, and became Chaplain in the Confederate service, and 
was present at some of the chief engagements around Richmond. This year he was married to 
Miss Jennie Chambers Scott, daughter of Mr. E. C. Scott, and grand-niece of Judge E. R. ( ham- 
bers, of Virginia. He was subsequently sent to Louisa circuit, and thence to Union Station, Rich- 
mond. During the latter part of the war, he was engaged as agent of the "Richmond Christian Advo- 
cate," then the Conference property, and raised a large amount of money to relieve the Advocate of 
its debts, and to send religious literature to the Confederate soldiers. At the close of the war, April, 
1865, having no pastoral charge, he went to a plantation owned by his wife in Nottoway county, 
where he supplied destitute portions of our work, in that county as well as in Prince Edward and 
Lunenburg. He stayed here eleven years, and the mission field he then developed, is now largely 



80 SKETCHES OF TEE VIRGINIA CONFERENCE, 

self-supporting, and supplied by two or three of our most effective men. In 1876, he was again 
returned to Richmond, and stationed at Main Street Methodist Episcopal Church, now Park Place. 
He spent two years on the Prospect circuit. He has served on the examination and other Conference 
committees, and has for years been prominent in the Sunday school work, frequently serving as 
chairman of that committee, and is active as the School Secretary of" the Virginia Conference. In 
1878, he was appointed Presiding Elder of the Eastern Shore district, which is his present position. 



Rev. William Elliott Judkins. 

TO the endowments of a well-balanced mind, a voice of compass and smoothness, high aims, and 
the bearing of a gentleman, Mr. Judkins has added the equipments of a memory stored care- 
fully with the literature of his calling. His sermons are the " well beaten oil of the Sanctuary." 
They cost Tirm thought. They flow on in rhythmic sentences. The ease and grace of delivery 
even tempt to excess. Where others labor, he glides as the steel sandal over the glassy ice, with 
hardly the urging of a muscle. The qualities that unite in Inm have brought devoted friends, pleased 
hearers, and increase of spirituality and members. 

He is a native of Southampton county, Virginia, and was born on April 10th, 1820. His father 
died when he was about three years old, leaving him and four sisters to the care of his widowed 
mother. As he grew old enough he was placed at school a few miles from home, but the educa- 
tional advantages of the neighborhood being meagre, his mother determined to live where better 
schools could be had for her children. Accordingly, in January, 1841, she moved to Suffolk, Virginia. 
Here he was placed at school in the Academy under good teachers and continued there for about 
four years. While yet a student boy, in the 14th year of his age, in February, 1843, under the 
ministry of Rev. William W. Kennedy, he was happily converted to God and joined the Methodist 
church. How far the prayers and constant teachings of a devotedly pious mother contributed to 
this result, eternity will alone reveal. When about twenty years old he began to be exercised upon 
the subject of the ministry, but struggled in secret with his convictions for about a year before in- 
forming any one. Yielding at last to the weight of conviction upon this subject, he sought counsel 
from his pastor, the Rev. Wilham J. Norfleet, and a few other judicious friends, only to find from 
them a confirmation of his own convictions, that the ministry was to be his future sphere of labor. 
In August, 1851, while actively engaged in mercantile pursuits, he was granted Exhorter's license. 
In August, 1852, he entered Randolph Macon College as a student, and on the 22d of the following 
November, at a Quarterly Conference held for Randolph Macon station by the Rev. James A 
Riddick, Presiding Elder, he was licensed as a local preacher. At the same time the Rev. Charles 
H. Hall, Joseph H. Riddick, Marcus C. Thomas, and Peter A. Moses were licensed as local preachers. 
Yielding to what seemed to him the constraining providence of God, he left College sooner than he 



METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, SOUTH. 81 

desired, and was received into the Virginia Conference, Bishop Paine presiding, at its session in 
Lynchburg, Virginia, in October, 1853. He was received, however, with the understanding that he 
was to remain at college until the end of that year. His first appointment was to Fairfax circuit, on the 
Washington district, Eev. George W. Carter, Presiding Elder. He began his labors there in Jan- 
uary, 1854, and was returned to the circuit in 1855. The membership of the Church on this circuit 
was doubled in those two years. On the 15th of November, 1825, he was married to Miss Mary G. 
Ball, of Fairfax county, Virginia. The Conference met that fall in Petersburg, Virginia, and lasted 
twenty-one days. On the first Sabbath in December he was ordained a deacon by Bishop James O. 
Andrew. Prom this Conference he was sent to Warrenton circuit, on the Washington district, where 
he labored during the years 1856 and 1857, with Bev. James Compton, a local preacher, as his as 
sistant. In November, 1857, he was received into full membership and ordained to Elder's orders 
by Bishop George F. Pierce, at the Conference held in Elizabeth City, North Carolina. From this 
Conference he was sent to Charles City circuit, on the Bichmond district, Bev. D. S. Doggett, Pre- 
siding Elder, where helabored during 1858. This proved a year of deep affliction to him. In June 
he was seized with a violent illness, lasting several weeks, and before fully recovering, his ' lovely 
Christian wife was stricken down, and on the 3d of August left him for her heavenly home. In 
1859 and 1860 he was stationed in Farmville, Virginia ; in 1866, 1867 and 1868, at Centenary church, 
Lynchburg, Virginia ; in 1869 and 1870, at Market-Street, Petersburg ; in 1871 and 1872, at Din- 
widdie Street (now Monumental), Portsmouth, Virginia ; in 1873, 1874, 1875 and 1876 at Court 
street church, Lynchburg, Virginia ; and 1877, 1878 and 1879, at Trinity church, Bichmond, Vir- 
ginia. The new church in Charlottesville was built, though not fully completed, during his ministry 
there. Soon after his pastorate in Farmville, Virginia, began he was requested by the trustees of 
the Farmville Female College to take a place in its Faculty, which he accepted, and taught in that 
institution for about two years ; and while pastor of the Market-Street station, Petersburg, filled a 
like a position for a year in the Petersburg Female College. 



Rev. John Baptist Laurens. 

JN the " Advocate '" office, in Bichmond, Virginia, during the morning hours and in the afternoon, 
can be seen at his desk the " Uncle Larry " of the Children's Department of that paper. He is 
not an old mam, and is even without the mark of age, though a soldier of two wars, having made 
a campaign in Mexico years before he served in the Confederate forces. His lungs are weak, and 
during the day he keeps close to a bright fire in winter, but in the summer he visits the camp-meet- 
ings and large church assemblies. He is forbidden by the doctors to preach. His home is at the 
seat of Eandolph Macon College, and he comes to the city on the morning train and returns in the 
afternoon. He has many sterling virtues which attach friends to him. The visitors to the edito- 
11 



82 SKETCHES OF THE YIR GINIA CONFERENCE, 

rial rooms of the " Advocate " keep in good memory the agreeable welcome by him. He enjoys his 
religion, and is faithful to press the gospel upon the attention of men. The Church has been 
strengthened wherever he has labored. He has the pen of a ready writer. 

He was born in Fauquier county, Va, January, the 19th, 1827. His father was from Prance, 
his mother Euth Eicketts, of Eappahannock county, Virginia. He was baptized into the Catholic 
church when a child, by his father's priest, near Middleburg, Loudon county, Virginia, on the eve 
of his father's departure for his native country. His mother was a Methodist. The religious views 
of neither parent had any influence on him, for both of them died before he was five years old. At 
an early age his mind was concerned upon the subject of religion, and at a meeting in Winchester, 
Virginia, when he was less than twelve years old, under the ministry of Eev. Norval Wilson, he 
made a profession of religion and joined the Methodist Episcopal church. During the Mexican war, 
in which he served two years, he lost his first love, and for some years was out of the church, though 
a devoted friend to it. While in Mexico he was deeply impressed with the moral destitution of the 
people, and from that day on to the present, has had a great desire to see that people brought under 
the influence of the gospel of Christ. In 1850 he re-united with the church in Eappahannock 
-county, at a camp-meeting near Amissville. In 1853 he was received on trial into the traveling con- 
nection in the Virginia Annual Conference of the Methodist Episcopal church, South, and sent in 
charge of King William circuit — a mistake of the Bishop, from which he suffered in all his after 
life. He was totally inexperienced, and needed the counsels of a discreet senior preacher. He 
always had great sympathy from the people on that circuit that year, and loved them ever after. 
There was, however, one redeeming fact— -there was a gracious revival all around the circuit. The 
next year he was sent to Middlesex, and the following to Westmoreland, but in consequence of a 
severe illness did not go, but remained on Middlesex with Eev. J. P. Woodward. In the fall of 
1856 he was sent to Culpeper circuit. He was married December, 1856, to Maria L. Cooke, of King 
and Queen county, Virginia. In 1857 he went to King and Queen circuit, and in 1858 and 1859 to 
Matthews, when his health, that had been failing for several years, entirely gave way, and he was, 
at the next Conference, placed on the supernumerary list. He lived near Petersburg, and at the 
breaking out of the the war, was elected captain of a company, because of his having some mili- 
tary experience, but was compelled to resign his commission the first year from ill health, and during 
the rest of the war, when able, acted as agent for the Soldiers' Tract and Book Society. After the 
war he spent two years in North Carolina and over three in Baltimore. He wasf or two years agent 
for the Preachers' Belief Society. He was two years on the Hanover circuit, and one year in Hamp- - 
ton, when his health became so far broken that he was, at the Conference that fall, placed on the 
superannuated list. He moved to Ashland, Virginia, and has been unable, from throat disease, to 
preach for more than two years. 

He is now more deeply than ever interested in the " Children of the Church," and is doing what 
he can to bring them into active co-operation in the work and fellowship of the church, and the 
church into a broader appreciation of the worth of the children, and a deeper concern for their 
salvation. He has great faith for the future of Methodism, if she will care for her children, and 
great fears if she fail to do this. 



METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, SOUTH.. 



Rev. David Middleton Wallace. 

IN Leesburg, in Loudon county, Virginia, he was born. His paternal ancestors were Scotch Pres- 
byterians. His mother of was of English stock and of Methodist persuasion. She was a Miss 
Mary E. Johnson, of Westmoreland county, Virginia. There was a large family, of which the sub- 
ject of this sketch was the fourth son. His father was an intelligent and zealous Methodist, and 
the Sabbath-school teacher of Rev Dr. Nelson Head, and class-leader of Rev. Dr. A. Edwards, of 
the Methodist Episcopal church, both of whom loved him in life, and honor him in death. 

"When about twelve years of age, young Wallace was deeply convicted under the ministry 
of Rev. C. K. Marshall, D. D. Coincident with this conviction, the Rev. Mr. Evans, then pastor in- 
Vicksburg, wrote with his finger on the hand of the youth, " This boy will be a preacher," and then 
pronounced a blessing upon him. The impression then made was indellible. He was converted 
under the ministry of Rev. D. P. Wills in 1850, in Leesburg, Virginia. Immediately subsequent 
to this blessed change, the burden of the gospel was laid upon him. " Wo is me if I preach not 
the gospel," was the consuming conviction of his mind ; under the guidance of Rev. G. W. Carter, 
and in the face of much opposition from his relatives, and in much personal fear, he consecrated 
himself and life to the ministry — devoting nearly two years to special theological and academical 
preparation, and was the first of a large number of theological students at Hillsboro' Academy, 
under the tuition of Professor Enos Potts. In 1853 he was placed by Rev. G\ W. Carter, the Pre- 
siding Elder, in charge of a destitute portion of Fauquier county, Virginia. There God removed 
all doubt concerning his call to the ministry in answering his prayer for signal blessing upon his 
first effort by a gracious revival, which resulted in the conversion of many souls, the organization of 
a large and prosperous Sabbath-school and church membership, and the erection of a neat and sub 
stantial house of worship — the fruits of which are seen at this day. The name of James Hall is 
precious to his memory as his friend and counsellor at that crisis in his experience and history. In 
November, 1853, he was received into the Virginia Conference, and was the pastor of Lunenburg 
circuit until 1854. In 1855 he was junior preacher with Rev. Jeremiah McMullen, on Mecklenburg 
circuit, held fourteen protracted meetings, with many conversions. At the close of one meeting, as 
Mr. McMullen was closing, Mr. Wallace asked the privilege of his senior to extend one more invita- 
tion, and an aged man, gray in sin, arose, and Mr. Wallace met him at the altar and said, " Believe 
on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved ;" in this, the eleventh hour, this old sinner knelt, 
he was happily converted, and lived and died in Christ. In 1856 Mr. Wallace alternated every two 
weeks with another minister, on Rock Creek and Howard circuits. In 1853 Prince William circuit 
was his charge. There he had to fight Hardshellism, and obtained the name of " Hardshell crack- 
er." In the fall he was taken ill, and fell from his seat at the dinner table. He alone had hope of 
recovery. He felt that his work was not done. So it turned out. In 1858 in great feebleness, 
he took charge of Wesley chapel, Petersburg. A fine revival began from the first sermon ; many 
souls were converted. The large increase in members turned the thoughts of many towards build- 1 
ing a nev. church. This desire was satisfied in the erection of Market-Street church, under Dr. J. 
E. Edwards. 



84 SKETCHES OF TEE VIRGINIA CONFERENCE, 

In 1858 he was joined in holy .wedlock by Rev. Robert Michaels to Miss Sallie A. Rowlett, 
daughter of Rev. James D. Rowlett, of Chesterfield county, Virginia, who has shared his toils, sor- 
rows and joys with heroic devotion to him and the Master's cause for twenty-two years. In 1859 
he was stationed in Manchester, where he maintained and advanced the temporal and spiritual in 
terest of the circuit. In 1860 and 1861 he had pastoral charge of South of Dan circuit, where about 
two hundred souls professed faith in Christ. These were memorable years in his history, containing 
interesting episodes, and demonstrations of Divine power, rivaling primitive Methodism in novelty 
and grandeur. In 1862 he taught school on the same field. Here he gathered into the fold of 
Christ the Rev. Joseph B. Merrit, one of his pupils and assistant. The cause of this only interim 
in his pastorate was the rupture in a lung while preaching in the pulpit. 

In 1863-'4-'5, he had pastoral charge of Halifax circuit, Virginia. Upwards of one hundred 
persons professed faith in Christ. In 1866-'7-'8-'9, he was pastor on Pittsylvania circuit. He had 
many conversions and additions — among whom was the Rev. Richard J. Morman, of the Virginia Con- 
ference. In 1870-'71-'72, he was pastor of Boydton circuit. God gave him many souls and success 
in building a handsome church edifice, and raising Boydton to the position of a very desirable sta 
tion. In 1873-'74-'75-'76, he was pastor of the historic field of Methodism in Brunswick circuit. 
There, amid heavy affliction, success crowned his services with many conversions. In 1877, Sussex 
circuit was his charge. Here heavy bereavement, personal affliction, and about fifty conversions 
mark his labor. In 1878-'9-'80, Henrico circuit. 

This is the outline of the career of a man of singular pulpit ability and purest Christian char- 
acter and of gracious social qualities. He has the full confidence of his brethren, and the ardent 
attachment of hosts of friends. 



Rev. Thomas Lovett Williams. 

CAREFUL cultivation, thorough convictions of duty, Christian fortitude, and solid native worth, 
have united to form a character of equipoise, strength, manliness and completeness. In fea- 
tures Mr. "Williams resembles the late Horace Greeley — a face that tokens of intellect joined with 
benevolence. The person of Mr. Williams is a superior specimen of manly completeness, symmetry 
and strength. The Church has reaped wherever he has sown. He speaks to edification. God 
has honored his labors. Revivals mark his work. He was in the section overrun by the Federal 
forces, and endured the dire evils that followed their occupation of a territory. He continued to 
hold forth the Word of Grace and comfort amid all these forbidding obstacles. The Conference 
uses his discretion and wisdom on its committees. 

He is the son of Charles H. and Sarah Williams, and was born in Princess Anne county, Vir- 
ginia, August 10th, 1826. 



METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, SOUTH. 85 

In 1838 his father moved to the city of Norfolk — and after a residence of three years, died ; 
his mother survived him five years ; thus the youth was left an orphan at an early age, to go out 
into the world to earn his own living. 

He was converted to God under the ministry of the Eev. Thomas Crowder, August 5th, 1842, 
and in a few days united with the Cumberland-Street church, Norfolk, Virginia. 

Though a boy of sixteen, soon the impression was made on his mind that it was his duty to 
preach, but his education was not considered sufficient for such a solemn and important work. 
Without a word of encouragement from any one or a dollar, he left the city of Norfolk, July 4th, 
1848, and went to Meadville, Crawford county, Pennsylvania, and there attended Alleghany College, 
and remained for five years, until he graduated in June, 1853 ; during the same month and year he 
was authorized to preach by the Quarterly Conference of Meadville station, Erie Annual Conference 
of the Methodist Episcopal Church. 

He returned to Norfolk in August, 1858, and in the fall was examined by Eev. James A/Coul- 
ling, and recommended by the Quarterly Conference of Cumberland Street, Norfolk, Virginia, to 
the Virginia Annual Conference, which convened in Lynchburg in November, 1853. 

In his first appointment, Edenton, North Carolina, he was cordially received and kindly treated ; 
second charge, High Street, Petersburg, Virginia ; third, Hertford circuit, North Carolina ; fourth, 
Camden, North Carolina ; fifth, King George ; two years in Northampton, North Carolina ; Bertie, 
two years ; Lunenburg, one year ; he was sent back to this field of labor the second year, at the 
request of the church, but was compelled to leave, as no home was provided by the stewards. This 
was during the war ; he moved to Perquimans county, North Carolina, and preached for the church 
in Elizabeth City, as they had no pastor. The next year he was sent to Bertie circuit, but could 
not go because of ill-health. His health continued feeble — he was put on the supernumerary list. • 
He served Princess Anne circuit one year ; Indian Bidge, two ; Pasquotank, three ; Gates, four ; 
Lancaster, one. He is on his second year in North Southampton circuit. 



Rev. John Peyton Woodward. 

MANY of the gentle graces of the gospel have united in this minister. He has the gift to per- 
suade men to a better life. It would be hard to find a cause for offense in his pulpit minis- 
istrations or in his social life. There are no abrading angles, no nettles, no thorns, in his character. 
Indifferent health has not distilled a drop of verjuice in his nature. He is the same gracious and 
winning Christian at all times. He binds to him friends with silken cords. To these engaging 
qualities are added diligence, study and aptness to teach. His ministry blesses his parishioners and 
his own heart. The proofs of his vocation follow wherever he labors ; God giving testimony by 
His grace. On the 23d of January, 1833, and in the old and historical county of New Kent, Vir- 



86 SKETCHES OF THE VIRGINIA CONFERENCE, 

ginia, he was born. His mother died when he was very young, and his remembrance of her is as a 
dream. His father died when he was about ten years old, and he was placed under the protection 
and guardianship of his eldest brother — a faithful, tender guardian and a deeply pious Christian. 
The orphan boy had the privileges of school from his earliest years. At a camp-meeting held at 
old Tabernacle church, in his native county, in 1846, he was converted. "When about 15 years of 
age he began his academic course in James City county. In 1850 he began at Randolph Macon 
College. In 1852 his health forbade further confinement. In 1855, having recovered his health in 
part, he taught school hi a private family in Orange county. 

Mr. Woodward tells of his call to the ministry in these words : " Though I had been early 
impressed with the idea of a call to the ministry, strange to say, I had nearly lost sight of it at this 
time. The Rev. G. Mauzy was the preacher in charge of the circuit. He began to talk to me on 
the subject, I know not why, since I had never given him any cause to think I had any such idea. 
The matter ended in my examination before the Quarterly Conference by Rev. B. H. Johnson, Pre- 
siding Elder, and I was Licensed to preach." At the session of the Annual Conference that fall, 
held in Lynchburg, he was received on trial. His first appointment was Ettrick mission, but was 
changed to Sussex circuit by the Elder ; in 1855, Buckingham circuit, under Bro. H. D. Wood ; in 
1856, Middlesex ; in 1857, King William circuit ; in 1858, Hampton. Prom study and exhaustion 
in preaching and laboring his health broke down. Prom 1858 to 1860 he taught school ; in 1862 
he moved to Prince George and continued to teach. In 1863 he was married to Miss Yancy, of 
that county. In 1864 and 1865 the Northern soldiers occupied that county and he was in their 
midst. After the war, and in the years of 1866 and 1867, he was engaged in farming. In 1868, 
1869 and 1870 he took charge of the Prince George mission by the special request of his friends on 
that mission. During this time he was still farming and teaching school. In 1871 he was at home 
getting ready_to go back into the regular work. In 1872 his health having so far recovered as to 
justify him in itinerating, he broke up and started out. During this year and the year of 1873 he 
was on the Chuckatuck circuit. His health beginning to fail again, he was forced to go up the 
country. In 1874 and 1875 he was on the South Brunswick circuit ; in 1876, Dinwiddie circuit, 
where again he came very near dying from typhoid fever ; in 1877, North Southampton ; in 1878 
and 1879, Southampton circuit. 



METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, SOUTH. 87 



Rev. Paul Whitehead, D. D. 

rpWO views could bring out Paul Whitehead at a Conference. The picture of a scribe intent on 
_L the neatness and correctness of the entries. Another sketch would be of a man with fingers 
between the leaves of the Discipline, and laying down the law as made and provided for that case. 
The first cartoon is of the Secretary, and the other of the Expounder. By this time he has pretty 
well convinced the Conference, that his journal is without a mistake, and that his " opinions'' are 
infallible. The body, in the main, steers ahead after he has ploughed the channel. As an adversary 
in debate, he is strong, plausible and aggressive. He has a certain art of running his opponent's 
argument to absurdity, putting a ground wire on a brother's line, and letting his reasoning bury 
itself. His convictions are positive, and he is ready anywhere to give a reason for them. He does 
not muffle his feet and make a detour in silence to let a lion pass by. On the contrary, there will 
be a lively contest for its tawny hide. 

In the pulpit Mr. Whitehead speaks with precision and composure what he has taken pains to 
look well into. The sermon is the " beaten oil of the sanctuary'' poured out in a steady stream. 
He uses brief notes. He wins, and attaches with hooks of steel, many friends. They give him their 
full confidence. He has the high qualities of a successful leader. His manner by the fireside is 
grave, quiet, and somewhat retiring. Randolph Macon conferred on him his degree of Doctor of 
Divinity.* 

Rev. Paul Whitehead was born September 13th, 1830, in Nelson county, Virginia, near Loving- 
ton, the county seat. He and a twin-brother were the youngest children of John and Anna White 
head. The stock is English and Welsh with a strong infusion (from the mother's side) of Irish. 
John Whitehead and his wife became Methodists in 1825, under the ministry of Dr. W. A. Smith, 
then in his first year, and then- house became, from that time, a home of Methodist preachers. From 
childhood, their younger children knew the great men of Virginia Methodism, Early, Boyd (who 
baptized Paul) Smith, Cowles, Skidmore. &c. 

The education of the younger children was obtained chiefly at an Academy in New Glasgow, 
Amherst county. There, at the age of thirteen, the subject of this sketch had a good preparation 
for college, including instruction in the languages. But financial pressure suspended indefinitely 
John Whitehead's hopes and plans for the further education of his twin children ; what was obtained 
afterwards was the result of self-application under the stimulus of an active and thoughtful father. 
From 'the first the twin boys were omnivorous readers. 

Their mother was a woman of rare piety and remarkable judgment. To her they owe what 
no man can ever repay, and few appreciate. Her training was strict and loving, skilfully adapted to 
the well-studied character of her children. 

On the 25th September, 1849, Paul and his brother Silas were converted in Lynchburg, under 
the ministry of Rev. George W. Langhorne. They joined the church promptly, and began their 
religious life in the Methodist nursery, the class-meeting. Somehow, the older friends of Paul dis- 
covered what they believed to be a designation of him for the ministry. Predictions to tha,t effect, 



88 SKETCHES OF THE VIRGINIA CONFERENCE, 

and conversations did not affect his own mind. He had from the first laid himself on the altar of 
any service God might call him to, and was never conscious of a struggle against such a calling 
though, as yet he felt no leaning that way. Four years he spent in a clerk's office in Lynchburg and 
Norfolk, with a view to being a lawyer, reading and gaining invaluable information for such a call- 
ing. Brought into contact with many men of ability at the bar and on the bench, he has always 
regarded this as a season of unconscious schooling in important respects for subsequent life. In 
the end he obtained a license, but never practiced law. This was after taking part in a memorable 
meeting in May, 1853, at Amherst C. H., where he felt solemnly called to the ministry to testify to the 
grace of God. Declining a proffered law partnership, after a short resting season, he was licensed 
to preach in August, 1853 ; began to preach in Lynchburg in the church in which he was converted 
and in the presence of his parents; and after " exercising his gifts'' in- the country around, was ad- 
mitted on trial into the Virginia Conference, October, 1853. 

His membership has been unbroken, and he has attended every session of the body, losing some 
days at three sessions only in twenty-five years. The " class" of which he was part, has been a 
remarkable one, furnishing such men as " Charlie" Hall of blessed memory, Wm. E. JudMns, A. G. 
Brown, G. H. Bay, T. L. Williams, &c. Prom the first he was practically Assistant Secretary, for- 
mally elected in 1855, and to the chief Secretaryship on the resignation of J. D. Coulling in 1860. 
From that day, he and the new Assistant (P. A. Peterson) have been regular " fixtures" of the body. 
After one year on a circuit as "junior," he was stationed in Charlottesville, where he came in con- 
tact with the University faculty, and specially came to know that godly and noble man Gessner 
Harrison and his son-in-law, Professor Smith, and their excellent f amilies. Here too he formed two of 
the strongest, and to him most profitable clerical friendships of his life, with John A. Broadus and 
J. Henry Smith. 

The next year was spent in Lexington — memorable for renewing a brief acquaintance, and 
greatly deepening it, with " Stonewall" Jackson, with whom he took long walks and had interesting 
conversations as they rambled over the hills and along the river cliffs. This was a year of mingled 
sorrow and joy ; in it he buried in six months (December, April, and June,) mother, father and twin 
brother ; at its close, December 8th, 1857, he was married to Miss Virgilia M. Timberlake, daughter 
of J. H. Timberlake, Esq., of Albemarle county. Of this marriage there have been born a son and 
two daughters, all living. He continued in the regular work till December, 1866 ; Bishop Pierce had 
appointed him Presiding Elder of. the Farmville (then called " Randolph Macon") district. But he 
was destined not to be " read out." On the last night of the Conference, Bishop P. had gone to 
North Carolina — his completed list left in the hands of Bishop Dogget to be read — tidings suddenly, 
came that Rev. J. D. Coulling had fallen at his post as President of Wesleyan Female College, at 
Murfreesboro', North Carolina. A meeting of the Trustees present at Conference, was hastily 
called, and Mr. "Whitehead was elected as Mr. C's. successor. The office came without solicitation 
or canvassing on his part, and "was hailed as a Providential deliverance from the Eldership.'' 

On his first circuit he had become acquainted with a boarding school for girls, conducted by 
his friend Dr. John C. Blackwell. Into this kind of work he now turned, and in it still continues at 
this writing. He remained at Murfreesboro' till June, 1873. The college was then sold to satisfy 
claims for debts contracted in the original building, against which the Trustees had struggled in 
vain for seven or eight years. It passed into the hands of a stock-holding company, composed 
chiefly of its old friends at Murfreesbor6', and in that district, and after a further career of four 
years, was destroyed by fire in August, 1877. In September, 1873, Mr. Whitehead, with the faculty 



METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, SOUTH. 89 

and officers who had been with him, in his last years at Murfreesboro', opened the Farmville College 
for young _ ladies at Farmville, Prince Edward county, Va. They are still conducting the school 
there after five years of hard struggling. " Times" began to be specially " hard" with the Black 
Thursday of September, 1873, when Jay Cooke & Co. failed, and the bottom fell out of the financial 
world in America ; nor have they grown materially easier to this date. Unfettered by a pastoral tie, 
Mr. Whitehead has been able to preach the Gospel to many of the feebler churches, and be a 
" supply" for emergencies ; while in visiting District Conferences in school vacations, he has filled 
pulpits from Norfolk to Liberty, and from Patrick county to Rappahannock. He has generally 
taken active part in debates at Conference ; and his brethren have honored him with a seat in the 
General Conferences of 1866, 1870, and 1878. He was made a Trustee of Randolph Macon College 
in 1875, and the following year commissioned a visitor of the University of Virginia. 



Rev. Joseph Henry Amiss. 

IN this faithful itinerant are the elements that command the confidence of the Conference and the 
Church, and bring successful service. He pleases in the social circle. His fluency, aptness and 
force in the pulpit arrest attention, and command a congregation. He builds elegant churches, 
lengthens the record of the membership, and gathers large congregations. His brethren- in the 
ministry are fond of him. 

He was born near Jeffersonton, Ciilpeper county, Virginia, on the 5th of September, 1834. His 
parents names, Hiram L. and Emily Elizabeth Amiss. His early educational advantages were 
insagre. First religious instruction was received under the auspices of the Baptists. The family 
removed to Warrenton — and in a protracted meeting held in that town, about the middle of Octo 
ber, 1849, by Rev. R. T. Nixon, Rev. E. A. Gibbs and Rev. Mr. Compton, a local preacher, he was 
converted to God when about fifteen years of age. Eor something like a year before, however, his 
mind had been much exercised upon the subject of religion, and he would often weep and pray in 
secret — sometimes wandered out into the woods, and kneeling by the root of a tree, and with clasped 
hands, and eyes gazing up into the blue heavens, prayed for light, pardon, peace. He had a horrid 
idea of being lost. 

Soon after conversion he was baptized by Rev. E. A. Gibbs, and joined the church. His first class- 
leader was the gentle, the spiritual R. M. Smith. The influence he exerted over him, both by pre- 
cept and example, had much to do with his after career. It seemed a father could not have felt 
more interest in a son. 

From a memorandum of Mr. Amiss, we get the following incidents of his early religious life and 
entry ur>on the ministry : " Some time before my conversion my father had put me with a Mr. D. to 
learn the shoemaker's trade. He was wicked and worldly, and did not allow his boys many privi- 
12 



90 SKETCHES OF THE VIRGINIA CONFERENCE 

leges, but his wife was one of the best, one of the most saintly women I ever knew. The most of 
my spare moments I gave to reading and learning the best I could. My Testament was open on 
my bench frequently, and reading a verse at a time, I would meditate on it and repeat it until it be- 
came fixed in my mind. The passages memorized then are with me still. Mr. D. giving up the 
shoemaking business, and my father returning to Culpeper to live, I again returned to the family, 
and wrought attentively for some two years on the farm and at my trade. I carried books in my 
pocket, or frequently at the end of a furrow would read a little, and meditate on it while holding 
the plough. Many a time, just at night, I would bring from the woods an armful of lightwood, and 
sit up in the kitchen until midnight studying English Grammar, or some religious book. Near the 
house I selected a spot, at the root of a large pine, where at noon I held communion with God. The 
first sermon I ever tried to preach was at the root of that tree, with the birds and insects for my 
auditors. I had felt for some time before this that God had a work for me to do, but how to recon- 
cile my convictions of duty with my inexperience and ignorance was a difficult task. 

"About this time I became acquainted with the preacher on Rappahannock circuit, Rev. Richard 
Stephens, who advised me to get out exhorter's license, which I did. Rev. Z. E. Harrison came to 
the charge in 1852, and the Presiding Elder, Rev. Thomas Crowder, advised me to go round with 
and help him all I could. In September of that year, at a camp meeting, near Flint Hill, in the 
preachers' tent, I was examined by Rev. Thomas Crowder, and licensed to preach. I was recom- 
mended the same fall to the Annual Conference, and was received at Fredericksburg, Bishop Capers 
presiding. There was considerable discussion on my case, and opposition to my admission, on ac- 
count of my youth, only eighteen, and lack of information ; and I think one of the great mistakes of 
my life was yielding to the advice of some of the elder preachers, and applying for admission at 
that time. I was not prepared and should have gone to school longer. I was sent to Hampshire cir- 
cuit, as junior, with Rev. J. R. Waggener.'' 

Mr. Amiss had a rather rude auditor on his first circuit : 

"There was an appointment on the circuit, on the summit of the Alleghany mountains, at an old 
tavern, which had been converted into a school house and preaching place. On my second visit to 
that place, some distance before reaching the house of worship, I saw a man on horseback slowly pro- 
ceeding in the direction I was. He seemed to be carrying very carefully something on his arm, and 
soon stopped at a small stream to let his horse drink. On coming up my animal went to drinking 
also. As he turned his face towards me, I recognized him as a Mr. M., to whom I had been intro 
duced on my first visit to the neighborhood. He had a common water bucket on his arm, about 
half full of liquor, and after exchanging civilities, he said : " I have a little here to drink — won't 
you take some with me ? I haven't taken but one or two drams since I saw you last." On my de 
clining, he then said : " May I hear you preach to-day % I came out on purpose to hear you." I 
told him he could certainly hear me. and I would be pleased to have him do so. I entered the 
house and commenced the service. Mr. M. left his bucket outside, and took his seat near the door. 
After I had talked ten or fifteen minutes he became restless, and retired from the house ; several 
others soon followed him. They had been out but a few minutes, when I heard loud talking and 
angry oaths. Soon M. stood in the door and looked at me with great excitement and anger ' and 
said : " Sir, you can't damn me, nobody but my Saviour can damn me." The men looked serious, 
many of the women trembled and wept. I paused suddenly to see what would come of it. Mr. 
P., an influential man on the mountaias, arose and said : " Mr. M., take your seat and behave as you 
should ; recollect you are attending a place of religious worship, and are violating both the law of 
God and man.'' M. took his seat, and I proceeded to finish my discourse, which was principally 



METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, SOUTH. 91 

upon faith in Christ. On making some statement he said : " No such thing, Sir." I did not notice 
him, but kept on. Soon he said, " Bah ! who believes that V ' I saw it was not worth while to con- 
tinue the service, and dismissed the congregation at once. Mr. P. and the more respectable per- 
sons present assembled in a crowd and threatened to arrest M. on the spot, but he and drinking 
companions bid them defiance. In a few minutes the infuriated man came into the house and 
threatened to take my life, but I said nothing to him, and then the congregation quietly dispersed. 

" He did not come to hear me preach again until nearly the close of the Conference year, and 
then not until he had sent me word he was heartily sorry for his conduct, that he was under the 
influence of liquor when he did it, and sincerely asked my pardon. I sent him word I freely for- 
gave him all, and hoped he wou'd be a better man." 

At the close of that year, by the suggestion of one of the best friends of his youth, the Presi 
ding Elder of the district, tha gifted, but the ill-fated Carter, he located and went to school at 
Hillsboro', Loudon county, Virginia. The principal was a ripe scholar and devout Christian gentle- 
man, and took the greatest pains to help forward the young preachers, some ten or eleven, who at 
that time were under his instruction. His debt to him, Mr. Amiss thinks, he can never discharge. 
In the Fall of that y3ar, 1854, he re-entered Conference, and has been in the active work ever 
since. 

In 1855 was junior on Eock Creek and Howard circuit, A. Gr. Brown in charge ; 1856, Prince 
Edward, A. "Wile 3 in charge; 1857, stationed in Portsmouth, at chapel; 1858, Berlin circuit; 1859, 
stationed in Edenton ; 1860-61, in Manchester; 1862-'3-'4-'5, Edenton; 1866, Elizabeth City; 
1867, Pasquobank circuit; 1868-'9-'70-'71, Sussex circuit; 1872, Dorchester circuit ; 1873, Central, 
Portsmouth; 1874, Suffolk ; 1875-'6-'7-'8, Onancock circuit ; 1879, Hertford circuit. 

God has greatly blessed his labors— never having but one charge without gracious revivals. 
" Had I been as faithful as I should have been, I might have accomplished much more for the Master. 
God halping me, I will try and mend my pace." 

He married Miss Joyce E. B. Hathaway, of Edenton, North Carolina, January 30, 1861. Has 
had ten children, five of whom are living. 



92 SKETCHES OF THE VIRGINIA CONFERENCE 



Rev. Robert Blackwell Beadles. 

WHO among us is more prized for his godly walk and conversation than Robert B. Beadles? The 
spirit of the Master shines in his life. In and out of the pulpit men take note of him, that 
he has been with Jesus. He leaves a blessing in every household that enjoys his presence. The 
congregations that hear him are fed on the marrow of the Gdfepel. He is quick, pushing, energetic, 
yet without brusqueness, or ambition for a high seat. He has served the Church with success and 
fidelity for twenty four years. During a portion of this time his ill-health restricted his ministry. 
He was never drawn off from the highest aim — the calling of men to Christ. We append a short 
account of his earlier years from his own pen : 

" I was the eldest of thirteen children born to my parents, (John and Nancy Beadles), in 
King William county, Virginia, January 5th, 1832. Beared in the lap of piety, taken to Sabbath 
•school regularly by my honored, and now sainted parents, almost from my earliest recollection, 
frequently while quite a child, by the Spirit, under conviction for sin, I was happily converted Sep- 
tember 19th, 1845, when in. my fourteenth year, at Powell's Chapel in my native county, in the midst 
of a gracious revival under the ministry of Bev. John W. Shackford, (then a member of the Vir- 
ginia Conference, now a useful local preacher on King and Queen circuit), assisted by J. C. Garlick 

" Though my parents were members of another branch of the Christian church, they, at my re- 
quest, kindly gave their consent for me to unite with the Methodists, through whose instrumentality 
I had been led to Christ. The fact of my conversion I have never doubted, so clear was the wit- 
ness of the Spirit at the time, for which I have ever been thankful to my Heavenly Father. 

•' Almost simultaneous with my conversion was a conviction that I ought to preach the Gospel. 
But it was not until I had passed through all the grades of a " lay official " and experienced years 
of hard struggling with difficulties, both from within and from without, that I, on the 14th day of 
March, 1853, received license to exercise my humble gifts as an exhorter from my pastor, Rev. T. J. 
Bayton. 

" While at Hillsborough Academy, Virginia, the Loudon circuit Quarterly Conference gave me 
license to preach, signed by Rev. W. W. Bennett. 

" In August, 1855, I commenced my itinerant life, (under Rev. W. B. Rowzie, Presiding Elder, 
as colleague of Rev. J. B. Dey,) on Lancaster circuit, the very one I now have the honor to serve 
after a lapse of twenty-four years, 

"The following November I was received on probation into the Virginia Conference, which held 
ts session that year in the city of Petersburg, Bishop Andrew presiding." 



METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, SOUTH. . 93 



Rev. John Wesley Crider- 

nHHE venerable Jehu Hank, now of the Baltimore Conference, took a fatherless boy of Pittsyl 
X vania county, Virginia, reared and educated him. The orphan became a minister, and on his 
first circuit as junior, participated in a pentecostial revival, where nine hundred were converted. 
Mr. Crider loves to tell of the kindness of this noble Christian minister and his devoted wife, always 
affirming they should have the praise for any good that he may do in life. Mr. Crider joined the 
church as a seeker, after deep conviction of sin, at the age of ten, and was converted four years 
afterwards. "When approaching manhood he went South and prepared for the ministry under a 
divine call to that vocation. He joined the South Carolina Conference at Columbia on December 
16th, 1854. For seventeen years he continued a member of that body, with success attending his 
labors, and, in some instances, great displays of grace were manifested on the work. In 1871 he 
succumbed to the Southern fevers, and by medical advice, sought the latitude of Piedmont Virginia. 
He returned to his native county of Pittsylvania, where he was born April, 1834, and rested during 
1872. In 1873 he formed the East Franklin circuit, and was transferred to the Virginia Conference. 
In 1874 he was assigned to the Henry circuit, and is now serving the South Boston circuit. In the 
twenty-five years of his ministerial labors Mr. Crider has quit him well of his charges. His social 
qualities and efficiency in the pulpit give him success. 



Rev. Hezekiah Philip Mitchell. 

MB. MITCHELL is tall and with somewhat of the clear cut features of " Old Hickory." He has 
the grace and suavity of a gentleman in polite life. He wins friends quickly and they con- 
tinue attached to him through life. His discourse shows a rich native ore wrought into elegant 
forms. They are rarely wanting in finish and attractive arrangement. He is a popular preacher, 
and not without the rewards of diligent sowing. At times large increase has followed his ministra 
tions. He was born in Essex county, Virginia, January 1st, 1827. His father, Bev. Bichard H. 
Mitchell, was a local preacher in that county. Mr. Mitchell was converted when 17 years of age, 
and joined the Methodist Episcopal church under the ministry of the Bev. Gervas M. Keesee. He 
received a good academic education about home, and then entered Bandolph Macon College and 
followed a full course, standing well in his class on every study, when his health failed and pre- 
vented his graduation, After leaving College he continued his studies, taking up and prosecuting 



94 SKETCHES OF THE VIRGINIA CONFERENCE, 

successfully two modern languages not in the curriculum. He had charge of a large Academy for 
three years ; also studied law for two years, and when ready for examination, gave it up and went 
into the ministry, believing he was called of God to preach. He traveled Powhatan circuit two 
years ; Prince George circuit, two years ; Culpeper circuit, one year ; Lexington circuit, one year ; 
stationed in Lynchburg, at Centenary, two years ; during the war at his farm, and pastor in King 
and Queen circuit four years ; in Middlesex circuit two years ; in Smithfield, four years ; in Dan- 
ville, at Lynn-street, two years ; in Portsmouth, at Central, two years ; in Charlottesville, two years ; 
again at Central, in Portsmouth, and now the second year. He married the sister of Rev. William 
B. Edwards, of the Baltimore Conference, and of F. M. Edwards, of the Virginia Conference. The 
only child of Mr. Mitchell died while he was in Smithfield. * 



Rev. James Henry Crown. 

HE is the synonym for cheerful piety and robust health. A full-length picture would present the 
outlines of a Burgomaster, portly and contented. Ambition never vexed his serene spirit, nor 
envy soured his genial soul. From the mountains to the sea he has sounded out the glad tidings. 
He speaks with force and aptly. His name is held in honor, and his visits are everywhere treasured 
as seasons of joy and profit. He is a favorite among the churches and in the Conference. 

James Henry Crown, son of HezeMah and Jane Crown, was born in Montgomery county, Ma- 
ryland, on the 1st of March, 1834. He received a fan- education at the schools in the neighborhood 
in which he lived. His moral and religious training received special attention. He owes much to 
his first Sunday-school teacher, Mr. Eh Perry, for whom he still cherishes the warmest affection. 
In the Autumn of 1852, at Emory chapel, District of Columbia, during a meeting conducted by 
Bev. W. W. Bennett, D. D., and Bev. Mr. Davis, he was converted, and joined the Methodist Epis- 
copal church, South, at that place. Very soon after that happy event, his mind was very much ex- 
ercised about preaching the gospel. That this was his life-work, to which God had called him, soon 
became the conviction of his heart. He was licensed as a local preacher October 17th, 1854, by the 
Quarterly Conference of Loudon circuit, Virginia Conference, in the bounds of which he was then 
prosecuting his studies. In 1855 and 1856 he was at Randolph Macon College, and in November 
of the last-named year he was admitted into the Virginia Conference, carrying his recommendation 
from the Quarterly Conference of the church where he was converted, and in whose communion he 
first held membership. He has served the following charges : Loudon, Prince "William, Stafford. 
Clarke, Fauquier, Middlesex, Sidney (now Park Place, Bichmond), High-street, Petersburg ; Wil- 
liamsburg, New Kent, Heathsville, Second street, Portsmouth; Norfolk circuit, and Hampton. 
His present charge is Rappahannock circuit. 



METBODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCS, SOUPS. 95 



Rev. Joseph Henry Riddick. 

IF a member of the Conference during a session of the body should fall into extreme illness, it is 
certain that a message would go from the bedside of sickness to Joseph H. Eiddick, with the 

sure expectation that the prayers of a righteous man would avail much. All agree that he has 

power to prevail with God. The spirituality of his flocks steadily rises under his guidance and example. 

The Holy Ghost falls on the people while he preaches. As this sketch is preparing between two 

and three hundred have been converted in his present charge. 

There is the charm of a gentle, pure and earnest life in every feature and in every act. He 

knows the deep things of God. The Scriptures are hid in his heart. His lips speak that which he 

has experienced. 

His body is far from robust, yet his activity is unwearied. The ardent spirit spurs the 

laggard and feeble frame. His discourses have the marrow of the gospel, and excite to a better life. 
He was born in Gates county, N. C, August 9th, 1831. He was the son of Christian parents, 

who reared him "in the nurture and admonition of the Lord," and w"hose godly example and counsel 

led him to the Saviour " in the days of his youth." He was always the conscious subject of deep 

religious impressions, which finally ripened into a clear and thorough conversion while a student at 
Randolph Macon College. 

It was at this Institution he was educated, called to the ministry, and first licensed to preach. 
He joined the Virginia Conference in the city of Norfolk in the year 1854, and was appointed by 
Bishop G. F. Pierce to the charge of the Hertford circuit. He was ordained deacon by Bishop John 
Early in 1856, and graduated to Elder's Orders in 1858, and was ordained to the same by Bishop 
H. H. Kavanaugh. He has filled the following appointments during his ministry : Hertford cir- 
cuit, Charles City circuit, Randolph Macon circuit, Wesley chapel (Portsmouth), Leesburg, Mur- 
freesboro circuit, Harrellsville circuit, Sussex circuit, Washington Street (Petersburg), and was, 
in 1879, appointed to the Cumberland Street church, Norfolk. He was supernumerary several years, 
and was employed most of that period as Professor of mathematics and ancient languages at the 
Kittrell Springs Female College, then owned and conducted by his brother, Rev. C. B. Riddick. 
Both in the active and supernumerary relation to the Conference, one striking peculiarity has con 
stantly characterized his ministry : Most gracious and powerful revivals of religion, resulting in the 
conversion of very many sinners and the edification of the church, have attended his plain and earnest 
proclamation of the Gospel of Christ, and a great multitude, saved by his instrumentality, will rise 
to greet him in the resurrection morning, and to bless him "in the bright forever." 



96 SKETCHES OF TEE VIRGINIA CONFERENCE, 



Rev. Robert Nelson Crooks. 

SOLDIER, chaplain, pioneer preacher in mountain lands, he has a noble record. He has preached 
a quarter of a century and is just at his prime. He has built nine churches and two parsonages, 
and repaired or rebuilt many old preaching edifices. In the hospitals in Eichmond he saw great 
revivals. During his ministry he has received into the churdh thirteen hundred persons. His own 
notes, though brief, have much interest : 

I was born in Greenup county, Kentucky, March 16th, 1830. My father Abraham Crooks, was 
born in Prince William county, Va. His grand father and mother came from Ireland. My mother's 
maiden name was Catherine Conrad, from Loudon county, Va. Her. grand-father came from Nether, 
lands, and her mother from Holland. My father was a farmer — a member of, and deacon in the 
Missionary Baptist church for many years. My mother was a member of the Methodist church, but 
died when I was eight years old. 

My educational advantages were limited to the ordinary country schools. I was religiously dis- 
posed from my youth — the fear of God was always before me. I do not remember to have ever 
used a profane oath, or to have been intoxicated. 

In August, 1852, I joined the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, on probation at Warwick's 
school house, in my native county, under the ministry of Rev. Hugh Rankin, and the next year I 
was baptised with water, and received into full connection by the Rev. S. A. Rathburn on profession 
of faith. 

For more than a year I was painfully exercised on my call to the ministry, to which, I did not 
readily get consent of my mind. In March 1855, I was licensed to preach by the Greenup circuit 
Quarterly Conference, Rev. C. M. Sullivan, Preacher in Charge, Rev. J. F. Medley, Presiding Elder ; 
which, in August recommended me to the Western Virginia Annual Conference. At Buffalo, on the 
Great Kanawha, I was received in the Annual Conference in September, 1855, Bishop Early pre 
siding. My first appointment was Wyoming Mission, lying in the counties of Wyoming, Raleigh, 
Fayette, Boon and Logan, West Virginia, having twenty-seven preaching places to fill in four weeks. 
In 1856, Paintsville circuit in Kentucky, junior preacher with Rev. Joseph Wright. This appoint- 
ment had thirty-one preaching places in four weeks. 

In 1857, ordained deacon by Bishop Pierce, received into the Conference, and sent to the Booths- 
ville circuit, a new work in the counties of Harrison, Marion, and Tyler, West Virginia. 

In 1858, Rowlesburg circuit along and among the mountains of the Cheat river, West Virginia, 
In 1859, ordained Elder by Bishop Andrew, and appointed to the Rowlesburg and Boothsville circuit, 
lying in six counties of West Virginia, with twenty four preaching places. In 1860, Weston and Jack- 
sonville, West Virginia. 

In June, 1861, I volunteered as a soldier, and served for six months as First Lieutenant of com 
pahy "I" 31st Virginia Regiment in the command of Generals Garnett, Henry Jackson and Ed. John- 
son, and under General R. E. Lee in that remarkable systematic campaign in the Alleghanies, 
advancing and retreating, marching and countermarching, in, up, and down the creeks and rivers. 



METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, SOUTH. 97 

(Oh how cold !) until we went into winter quarters on the top of the Alleghany Mountains, almost 
in perpetual frost, as if we were hunting a healthy place in mid-winter to freeze out the rest of the 
life that had not been marched out. 

In November 1861, I resigned my commission as Lieutenant and came to Richmond, and was 
put in charge of Rockett's Chapel, by Rev. J. D. Coulling, Presiding Elder, where I remained until 
June, 1862, when I received an appointment as chaplain in the Southern army, and was assigned to duty 
at Chimborazo Hospital, Richmond, Virginia, where I remained until the close of the war, May, 1865. 
August 6th, 1863, I married Miss Susan Ann Scully, in the city of Richmond, a Virginia lady of 
Irish and Scotch descent, a Methodist, and of a Methodist family. 

At the close of the war I was unable to return to the west. The Rev. J. D. Coulling, Presid- 
ing Elder, sent me to the Peninsula to look after the scattered and returning Methodists. I gath- 
ered together the churches in Henrico, Charles City, and a part of New Kent, to which I preached 
until the Conference in Danville, November, 1865, at which time I was transferred by Bishop Early 
from the West Virginia C inference to the Virginia Conference. From this Conference I was sent 
to York and Hampton, and served two years. . The third year I was returned to York, Hampton 
and Fox Hill being formed into a charge to themselves. 

In 1868-9, Bert'.e circuit; in 1870, South Bedford circuit; in 1871-74, York circuit; again in 
1875-79, Bertie circuit ; 1880, Hanover circuit. 

During my chaplaincy at Chimborazo Hospital, my labors were greatly blessed of God. We 
had several very extensive revivals, in which hundreds were converted. We are also hopeful of 
having led many to Christ on their couches of affliction and death, as we heard them shouting as 
they crossed the last river. 



Rev. James O. Moss. 

IT would be hard to name the preacher in the Virginia Conference that can sway an audience with 
the sovereignty of Moss when at his best. And when he is busy with some question of metaphy- 
sics, it is not difficult for the average hearer to resist sleep. He has a keen strong mind. He searches 
with pick in hand in all directions, not for glittering specimens, but for bulk of ore bearing bullion. 
His habit of study has helped him to the accumulation of great and valuable stores, and trained 
his intellect to vigor and accuracy. And better than all, he is without the unseemly urgings of am- 
bition, and has the simplicity and guilelessness of a child, withal. A frank and noble Christian 
gentleman is James 0. Moss. His labors have been singularly blessed with great results. 

He was educated at Randolph Macon College, and entered the itineracy in the fall of 1856, 

spending his first year as assistant to Rev. B. F. Woodward, on the Chesterfield circuit. His second 

and third year found him preacher in charge of Indian Ridge circuit. These were years of great 

success, nearly two hundred souls converted. He served during his fourth year on a colored mission 

13 



98 SKETCHES OF THE VIRGINIA CONFERENCE, 

in Norfolk county, which originated and died with this year ; in fact it was an accommodation reliev- 
ing him from the active pastorate for twelve months. In his fifth year he was in charge of Wesley 
chapel, Portsmouth. He served the church on Madison circuit with success during his sixth 
arid seventh years. The Madison circuit was divided, and Greene circuit formed in the fall of 
1862, and he was retained on the Greene circuit for two years — his eighth and ninth years. Great 
success attended his labors there— one hundred and forty-five converts in one year. His tenth year 
was spent in charge of Hertford circuit, North Carolina. He reported one hundred and seventy-five 
converts. The health of his family failed, he was removed to Atlantic circuit, Accomac county, Va. 
Here he spent his eleventh, twelfth and thirteenth years. The last of these years was signalized for 
one hundred and twenty converts at a single meeting. His fourteenth and fifteenth years were 
spent in charge of Dorchester circuit, Maryland. His sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth, Louisa 
circuit, Virginia ; his nineteenth, twentieth, twenty-first and twenty-second, Lunenburg circuit ; his 
present charge is Campbell circuit, Va. He has never been on a charge a single year without wit- 
nessing the conversion of souls. 



Rev. James Madison Anderson. 

THIS is the story of a minister who overcame early disadvantages of education, and became by 
dint of careful study and native endowment, one of the most polished and graceful preachers 
in Virginia. From untoward circumstances in youth, he has risen step by step to the most impor 
tant positions in his church. In all this advance, there has been nothing of rude ambition or doubt- 
ful expedients. He still has the modesty of his boyhood. Honors have sought him. He is far 
re noved froai the arts that seek prominence, or bid for popularity. Without ostentation he quit 
himself fully of every responsibility. 

He was born in the county of Amelia, on the 28th of June, 1837. In his early boyhood he was 
sent to such schools as the community in which he lived afforded. In the year 1850, his parents 
moved to Lynchburg, Virginia. His parents, although of highly respectable families, were poor, 
and he spent several years in the service of one of the citizens of that city, making his own liveli- 
hood by honest toil. During this period and in the fall of 1851, he made a profession of religion 
in the old church on Church Street, of which the Eev. John C. Granbery was pastor, (known now 
as Centenary.) Mr. Anderson had been a regular Sunday school scholar, and had thought much on 
religion, praying often ; in fact he cannot recall the time when he was destitute of concern on the 
subject of his salvation. His circumstances had never before been so favorable for giving attcntio l 
to this important matter, and he resolved to make good use of his opportunities. Revival services 
were in progress, with conversions. He was anxious to become a Christian. He however was young 
and timid. Night after night he went to church, hoping that some one would give him some en- 
couragement to go to the altar. No one came to him, perhaps because of his youth. At length 
God helped him to take his place among the penitents. 



METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, SOUTH. 99 

After several days of dark sorrow for sin, and earnest prayer for pardon, he obtained the de- 
sired blessing. He at once became a zealous Christian. At the first opportunity he connected him- 
self with the church. He was punctual and regular in all his duties. He cannot remember that in 
all his early religious life, he ever failed to be present at preaching, prayer-meeting, class-meeting, 
Sunday-school or Bible class, when attendance was practicable. His close attention to his duties 
obtained for him the confidence of the entire church, and produced the belief in the minds of his 
brethren, that he was destined to be of mueh service to the cause of Christ. He was blessed with 
the special friendship of one of his pastors, Rev. D. P. Wills, who more fully directed his attention 
to the subject of preaching, and in various ways gave him aid and encouragement. Preaching soon 
became the all-absorbing subject. By day and by night it pressed upon his mind. To proclaim 
the unsearchable riches of Christ to his fellow men seemed to him to be the noblest of all employ- 
ments. * 

In 1854, he began preparations for the work of the ministry by improving his education. He 
attended schools, first in Lynchburg, then in Buckingham county. In 1856, he was licensed in that 
county at a Quarterly Meeting held by Rev. H. H. Gary, as local preacher. In December, 1856, he 
went to Randolph Macon College, where he remained only for a few months, leaving in June 1857. 

In November, 1857, he was received as a probationer into the Virginia Annual Conference, at its 
session at Elizabeth City, North Carolina. His first appointment was the Lancaster circuit, with 
the Rev. B. R. Duval. In 1858-9, he was on the Westmoreland circuit with the Rev. Lloyd Moore. 
At the Conference of 1859, held in Lynchburg, he was ordained deacon by Bishop John Early, and 
was sent to Rock Creek and Howard circuit, as preacher in charge. At the Conference of 1860, he 
was sent to the Patterson Creek circuit, in Hampshire county, (now in West Virginia.) He remained 
but a few months. The excitement of the approaching war made it unfavorable for our church in 
that section. The Presiding Elder withdrew Mr. Anderson, and assigned him to the Warrenton 
circuit, which had lost its pastor by death. 

At the Conference of 1861, he was appointed to the Loudon circuit. Early in the spring, Lees- 
burg was captured by the Federal army, and it became necessary to leave this place. In May, 1862, 
he entered the Confederate army as chaplain of the 40th Virginia Regiment. He remained in the 
army for seventeen months, and endured many hardships, but had the pleasure of seeing many of 
the brave men to whom he preached, become soldiers of the cross. At the Conference of 1863, he 
was appointed to the Elk Run circuit, in Rockingham county. His labors on this circuit were con- 
siderably hindered by the incursions of the Federal forces. 

His Conference studies were interrupted through the years of war, and he was not ordained 
Elder till 1864, in Lynchburg, by Bishop Early. Erom that Conference he was assigned to Culpeper 
circuit, but the section was so devasted by the Federal army, that it was impossible to work with 
hope of success at that time. He spent the major part of the year on the Scottsville circuit. 

The Conference years of 1865-6-7 were spent on the Fluvanna circuit. God blessed his labors 
with extensive revivals. The two following years he was on the Madison circuit. The fruits of his 
.work were in an improvement in the condition of the membership, and many accessions. During 
the next four years he served the Albemarle circuit, where every year he witnessed the grace of God 
in converting the people. The three succeeding years he served the Atlantic circuit. On this field 
the Lord honored his preaching with more than ordinary success. There were revivals every year. 
Much money was raised for the various interests of the church. Debts which had long been a dis- 
couragement to the people were paid. The church property was greatly improved. A parsonage 



100 SKETCHES OF THE VIRGINIA CONFERENCE, 

was built and paid for, and a surplus was left in the treasuries of the parsonage, and of two of the 
churches. At the Conference at Richmond in 1876, he was appointed Presiding Elder of the Dan- 
ville district, a large and difficult field, which he has served with fidelity and to its improvement. In 
1879, he was assigned to the Charlottesville district, his present work. 

He has been married twice, first to Miss Jackson of Fluvanna county, and then to Miss Robbins 
of Accomac county. 



Rev. James William Blincoe. 

TPHE picture in the group over this name represents only the bust of the portly Blincoe. It would 
JL require a great breadth of canvass to bring in a life size portrait of the fat and favorite son of 
the Virginia church. He is the genial giant of the Conference. No one attempts to match with his 
activity in church enterprises. He builds, repairs, beautifies, till even the home folks scarcely know 
their own house of worship. He is a man for affairs. He knows by instinct where to press and 
when to persuade. His own zeal kindles enthusiasm, and his mother wit never allows him to miss 
doing the right thing at the right time. He can bring a circuit, run down and turned out, to bloom 
like a garden. The same diligence and thrift is seen in the parsonage, but, not a little of this home 
success is due to a clever " Mistress of the Manse." All departments of church enterprise are pros- 
pered under his care. Revivals follow his ministry. Church debts disappear. Feuds are healed. 
Blincoe is a model Methodist preacher. 

He was born August 19th, 1834, in Loudon county, Virginia, and born again 1852, and joined 
the church at once. He was educated at Professor J. J. Potts school, Hillsboro, Loudon county, 
Virginia, and at Randolph Macon College. 

The Conference received him on trial in 1857, at the session in Elizabeth City, North Carolina. 
His first appointment was to prince Edward, Rev. L. S. Reed in charge. He has travelled the fol 
lowing fields of labor consecutively: Randolph Macon, 1859 ; South Staunton, 1860 ; Appomattox, 
1861-2 ; Powhatan, 1863-'64-'65 ; Mecklenburg, 1866-'67-'68 , Brunswick, 1869-'70-'71-'72 ; Notto . 
way, 1873-'74-'75-'76 ; Amelia, 1877-'78-'79-'80. 

In 1860, he married the only daughter of the Rev. L. S. Reed, of the Virginia Conference. He 
has Seven children. 



METMOBIST EPISCOPAL CUVPOH, SOUTH. 101 



I 



Rev- Henry Clay Cheatham- 

N 1857, at Elizabeth City, North Carolina, there entered the Virginia Conference a large class of 
men above the average in endowments and cultivation. It has been rather a notable company. 
They have made their mark in the Conference. By common consent the first place in natural powers 
has been assigned to Cheatham. He had the most meagre opportunity to gain even the rudiments 
of learning — only two sessions at school before beginning to preach. When the storehouse of 
knowledge was opened to him his hungry mind fed with a ravenous appetite, and fattened as it fed. 
At this day he has at command choice and winnowed crops from many fields of thought and inves- 
tigation. It would be difficult to find a minister better equipped in this department for his 
calling. In the pulpit he is the master of a compact, vivid and piercing eloquence. In denouncing 
vice the face of brass itself would quail before his hot and plunging shot. As a controversialist, 
on platform or in print, he is a match for the keenest scimeter in the land. His style in edge and 
verve falls not far behind the best of Junius. In discharging his conscience of a duty he never 
takes counsel of fear. He is true as steel in his friendship. He abhors even the appearance of 
fawning for favor. He seldom takes part in the business of the Conference. He is a quiet, silent 
man. He is a native of Charlotte county, Virginia, and the son of Elkaneh Hampton Cheatham and 
Lucy Cheatham. His mother's maiden name was Halely. He was born on the 12th of November, 
1834, and was converted under the ministry of Rev. Charles H. Boggs, at Appomattox Courthouse 
about the 1st of August, 1853, and at once united with the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. 
Almost immediately after his conversion he felt moved to preach the gospel. His friends were also 
convinced that this was to be his life's work. He was licensed as a local preacher by the Quarterly 
Meeting Conference of the Appomattox circuit, held at Mount Comfort church, September 1, 1855. 
His license is signed by H. H. Gary, Presiding Elder. He was received on trial into the Virginia 
Conference at its session held in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, in November, 1857. He served as 
junior preacher on the Loudon circuit in 1858 and 1859, under Rev. Thomas A. Ware, preacher in 
charge. 

At the Conference held in Lynchburg, Virginia, in November, 1859, he was ordained a deacon 
by Bishop Early, and received into the Conference in full connection. He served the Fairfax circuit 
in 1860 ; and the Stafford circuit in 1861. During this latter year he was married on the 15th of 
August, to Mrs. Emma D. Dabney, whose maiden name was Llewellyn. At the Conference held this 
year, 1861, in Norfolk city, he was ordained an Elder by Bishop Andrew. Prom this Conference 
he was appointed to the Spotsylvania circuit for the next year, 1862, but could not remain on the 
circuit by reason of the presence of the Federal Army. He travelled Batesville circuit in 1863 ; and 
the Albemarle circuit in 1864 and 1865 He served the Cumberland Street church in Norfolk, dur- 
ing 1866 and 1867; and travelled the Nottoway circuit in 1868. In the fall of this year his health 
entirely failed ; and during the two following years, 1869 and 1870, he did no ministerial work. For 
a long time he was so extremely ill, and such was the nature of his affection that many of his friends 
thought it impossible that he should ever recover; and he, himself, ascribes his recovery to the 
special interposition of God in answer to the prayers of his friends. Having been placed on the 



102 SKETCHES OE THE VIRGINIA CONFERENCE, 

effective list, though still very feeble in health, he served the church in Berkley city in 1871 ; and 
the church in Hampton in 1872. Prom 1873 to 1876, inclusive, four years, he served the Union 
station church in Kichmond, Va. He was at Centenary, in Lynchburg, in 1877 and 1878. This 
present year, 1880, he is laboring on the Prospect circuit, which embraces a part of three counties' 
Appomattox, Prince Edward and Buckingham. 



Rev. Thomas Henry Boggs. 

THERE is a test of a certain estimate of preachers by preachers when the list of "homes" is 
brought out at a Conference session. The first enquiry after the name of the host is : "Who are 
guests with me ? To see the name of Tom Boggs associated with your own is a joy. All are 
glad to consort with him — a Christian gentleman. Tom, as the phrase goes, "wears well." He is 
of sterling worth, devoted to his noble calling ; manly, pure in thought, and full of the sweet courtesies 
of life. He has wrought well for the church. Prom every field he has brought his sheaves. He 
is a student. His sermons show thought and system. They edify and arouse to duty. We append 
as very appropriate, a few paragraphs from under his hand : 

"I was born in Frederick county, Virginia, November 15th, 18E3. James Boggs, my father, I 
think, was of Irish descent. My mother, Bachel Ambrouse, was the daughter of a native German. 
She died when I was very young, leaving my training to relations and friends, who, however good 
and kind, could not be expected to fill the place of a mother. I made a profession of religion \ hen 
about sixteen years of age in Weston, Lewis county, Virginia, and joined the Methodist Episcopal 
church ; the Church South having no organization in the town or vicinity at that time. On returning 
to the valley of Virginia, which I did a few months after joining the church in Weston, I re-united 
with the church under the ministry of Rev. George W. Carter, at White Post, Clarke county, during 
a meeting he held there by request, (White Post not being in his charge as I now remember) while 
in charge of Loudoun circuit. Soon after this I became exercised upon the subject of preaching 
the Gospel ; and after resisting my conviction of duty in this direction for some months, during which 
time I was very unhappy and melancholy, I finally yielded through the advice of friends and was 
licensed a local preacher by the Quarterly Conference of Loudon circuit, October 17th, 1854, (Rev. 
W. W. Bennett, president protem) while a student at Hillsborough Academy." 

At the session of the Virginia Conference held in the city of Petersburg, Va., November, 1855, 
he was admitted on trial as a travelling preacher. His first appointment was to Fauquier circuit in 
1856 with Rev. George H. Ray. His second year, 1857, he was in charge of Rappahannock circuit ; 
1858, Buffalo circuit; 1859, Dinwiddie ; 1860, Surry ; 1861, Factories' Mission, Petersburg ; 1862 and 
1863, Henry ; 1864 and 1865, Ringgold Mission ; 1866-'67-'68 and '69, South of Dan circuit ; 1870, 
1871 and 1872, Middlesex ; 1873-74-75 and '76, King George ; and 1877-'78-'79-'80, Mecklenburg 
circuit. 



METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, SOUTH. 103 



Rev. Josiah Dickinson Hank. 

11HE war gave to the Virginia Conference one of its most efficient, popular and valuable ministers 
. The persecutors of our church in West Virginia has made us debtor to them for Hank. And 
there is a certain fitness of things in the venerable Jehu Hank, of honored memory among the 
fathers of the Conference, having a son in the same body. 

The service of the younger Hank so long in an extreme point of the Conference confines, has 
localized his reputation. The Maryland section of our work is eager to monopolize him. And the 
Elder who has a first class man is too shrewd to tell his brethren in the cabinet of his good luck — 
they might want to share it. There is a floating notion that away across the Chesapeake Bay is a 
bright preacher, and a mighty builder of congregations and churches. If a Eichmond pastor hap_ 
pens to saunter towards the Eastern shore, he will prick up his ears when Methodists mention Hank # 
He is held in honor for his many social qualities, wise energy and ability. He is tall, spare, erect 
and composed. His sermons are vertebrated. There is bone in them, but not wholly skeleton. There 
is grace and finish. The delivery is grave, measured and magnetic. 

"We have had the favor of a charming narrative from him covering an interesting period of his 
life, which we use as superior to any notes of our own : 

I am the eldest son of Eev. Jehu Hank of the Baltimore Conference. I was born in Louisa 
county, Va., on the 13th of October, 1835, while my father, then a member of the Virginia Confer- 
ence, was preacher in charge of that circuit. In 1837, my father was appointed to Caswell circuit, 
North Carolina, and consequently fell into the North Carolina Conference, by the division of the 
Conferences which occurred that year. He located the same year on account of failing health, and 
settled in Monroe county, West Virginia. There my boyhood was spent on my father's farm attend- 
ing such schools as the country afforded. I professed religion when I was ten years old at a Quar- 
terly Meeting held at Mount Horeb church in Monroe county, under the ministry of Eevs. Adam 
Bland and James Aiken of the Baltimore Conference, and united with the Methodist Episcopal 
church immediately. I was licensed to exhort by Eev. Edmund H. Warren, of the Baltimore Con- 
ference in December, 1854. The license was renewed in November, 1855. 

About this time the Eev. Jacob Brillhart, of the West Virginia Conference, Methodist Episcopal 
Church South, who had previously established an appointment at Mount Horeb church, organized 
a class at that place under the auspices of the church, South, which I joined as an exhorter, and was 
licensed to preach that same fall, (1855). 

After beino- licensed as a local preacher, I entered the classical school of Joseph P. Godfrey, at 
Clift3n Academy, in Pittsylvania county, Va. There I pursued my studies for two years, preaching 
on Sunday as often as I could. A revival broke out in the school during this time, which resulted 
in the conversion of nearly all the students, and many outside of the Academy. I was received on 
probation in the Western Virginia Conference, Methodist Episcopal Church, South, at its session in 
Charleston, W. Va., September, 1857, Bishop Pierce presiding, and was appointed junior preacher 
on the Covington circuit, S. T. Mallory, Preacher in Charge. In 1858, I was sent to the Western 
circuit- 



104 SKETCHES OF THE VIRGINIA CONFERENCE 

On the 12th day of September, 1859, I was ordained deacon by Bishop Andrew in the city of 
Parkersburg, and stationed in Buchanan, Upshur county, Va. In 1860, 1 was stationed at Clarks- 
burg, Va. I was here when the war broke out, and remained until Colonel (afterwards General) 
McClellan took possession of the place. As the troops, entered the town on one side, I rode out 
on the other side and went to West Milford, where I remained several days, hoping to be able to 
make my way to Colonel Porterfield's command, which was in camp at Phillippi, Barbour counly, 
to which I had recently been appointed chaplain. But McClellan moved rapidly through the coun- 
try, attacked and defeated Portersfield's force3, driving them back upon Beverly, thus cutting me off 
within his lines. 

I worked my way through the mountains, avoiding the roads in order to escape scouting par- 
ties, which were scouring the country in every direction, and finally succeeded in reaching my father's 
Jiouse, where I stopped to rest a few days before resuming my journey to the command. But the 
fatigue and excitement through which I had just passed, brought on a severe attack of typhoid fever 
which came near ending my life. 

A remarkable circumstance occurred during this illness. Dr. Shannon Butt, the father of the 

■" Revs. Butt of the Baltimore Conference, was my physician. After exhausting his skill on my case, 

'he despaired of my life. I remember distinctly his telling me that he could do nothing more for me, 

that I must die and that probably that solemn event was very near. He kneeled at my bedside, and 

from a full heart, poured out a fervent prayer on my behalf, arose, pressed my hand in silence and 

tears and left me. 

I was at first much surprised. I had not thought that I would die. After, the first shock was 
over, my mind became calm and trustful. Motioning my father to my side, who put his ear close 
to catch my feeble whisper. I said, " though he slay me, yet will I trust in him." After this all 
was blank to me for several days. My father tells the rest. 

He says that after the doctor left, I sank rapidly. My mother and sisters, too much affected to 
remain in my room, retired to one adjoining. My father staid by me with his fingers on my pulse, 
until it seemed to cease, and I to gently breathe my last. He then covered my face, and reported 
to my sorrowing mother and sisters that I was dead. After remaining with them some time, he 
went down stairs and started out to look at a spot on the farm that he had been thinking of con 
verting into a family burying ground, and to select a place for my grave. On the way he stopped 
and said t* himself, "Surely my boy is not dead, I cannot think his work is done." Turning back; he 
went immediately to my room, uncovered my face, took hold of my cold, pulseless hand and garel 
upon my rigid face, and with a sigh, said sadly, "Yes he is dead — he is dead." Just then, in obedi 
ence to a sudden and unaccountable impulse, he caught up a small looking glass and held it close 
to my open mouth, and thought he detected a slight dew on its surface, on withdrawing it. He then 
poured a spoonfull of wine into my mouth. In a short time he gave me another spoonfull of wine) 
this time I coughed slightly, and made a feeble effort to swallow. A third spoonfull of wine a few 
moments afterwards was swallowed. Slight pulsation ensued, respiration followed, and gradually I 
took up the slender threads of life. In a few days I awoke to consciousness, and slowly returned to 
health. I often fear, lest I fail to fulfil the inscrutible purpose for which I was thus providentially 
snatched out of the very jaws of death. 

After my recovery I went back to Pittsylvania county, where I had attended school, and on the 
first day of June, 1862, was married to Miss Annie Berger, second daughter of Captain Samuel 
Berger, late of that county. There I remained during the rest of the war, having charge of my 



METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, SOUTH. 105 

mother-in-law's servants and farms, her sons all being in the army, and preaching as opportunity- 
offered at the various churches on the South Staunton circuit in the bounds of which I lived. As 
many of the preachers of the West Virginia Conference as could meet together, did so annually din- 
ing the entire war. They elected a president, went through the routine oiConference business, and 
appointed the preachers every year in order to keep up the organization of the body. Only a few 
of the charges, however, could be filled by the preachers thus appointed, owing to the occupancy 
by the Federal forces of nearly the entire territory of the Conference. The United States officers 
looked upon all our preachers as enemies to their government, and never failed to treat them as such, 
whenever they fell into their hands. Being beyond the Conference bounds, I was never able to at- 
tend one of these meetings, but was regularly reappointed to the Clarksburg station, Clarksburg 
district, every year of the war. 

In the fall of 1866, I was transferred to the Virginia Conference, and in compliance with a 
unanimous petition from the Quarterly Conference of South Staunton circuit, in whose bounds I had 
been preaching for four years, I was appointed to that circuit. In the fall of 1867, I attended the 
Virginia Conference for the first time, and was ordained Elder by Bishop Dogget, and reappointed 
to South Staunton circuit. This year my wife died. In 1868, I was appointed to Wicomico circuit, 
where I remained two years. In the fall of 1870, I was married to Miss Laura B. Wailes, daughter 
of Dr. Wm. H. Wailes, of Salisbury Md., and sent to King and Queen circuit, where I remained 
four years. In 1874, 1 went to Middlesex circuit, where I remained two years. In 1876, 1 was sent 
to Dorchester circuit, Md., where I remain up to the present. 

I here record with profound gratitude, that with the exception of the first three years, my min- 
istry has been blessed with revivals everywhere I have travelled, from the mountains to the sea 
shore. 

In September of this year, 1880, 1 will have been in the active work of the ministry twenty-three 
years. I have filled seven circuits and two stations. 



Rev. Samuel Summerfield Lambeth. 

THE boy by the Secretary's table within the chancel — the handsome boy with round, unwrinkled 
cheeks, fair brow and glittering eyes is Sammy Lambeth, one of Paul Whitehead's Assistant 
Scribes and the nimblest mind in the Conference. The bulge on one side of his face marks the posi- 
tion of a heavy quid within. Turn to his picture on another page. Do you think it possible that he 
is forty-two? But it is even so. Time has touched with furred feet as it passed over him. His heart 
is as young as his face. He has been dowered with rare gifts — a rich tuneful voice, quick parts, 
pleasing features and cheering social graces. He is a rapid student, and his governed resources are 
like the cartridges in the Henry repeater, needing but the touch of a spring to shift forward and 
14 



106 SKETCHES OF THE VIRGINIA CONFERENCE 

be ready for use. He is popular among the pews and in the gallery — inside and outside the church. 
We take it he would rank with Moore in size, and is as bright as the poet. 

He was born in Eichmond city, Va., February 1st, 1838. He was the child of pious Methodist 
parents, and both at home and in the Sunday-school, he was carefully instructed in the truths of the 
Bible and the peculiar doctrines of his church. His early educational advantages were good, having 
enjoyed a mental training of at least nine years in some of the best English and classical schools of 
his native city. He spent one year as copying clerk in the second Auditor's office in the capitol, 
and when Mr. James Brown, Jr., was removed from that office by his political opponents, he opened 
a Stock Broker's office in Eichmond, and for more than twelve months employed " young Lambeth" 
as his clerk and assistant. Determining to make of himself an editor, if practicable, " young Lam 
beth'' entered the printing office of Charles H. Wynne, Esq., who then published the " Eichmond 
Christian Advocate," to acquire a practical knowledge of the art, and better qualify himself for his 
chosen vocation in life. Here he remained for two years and a half, acquiring a thorough knowledge 
of the business as a compositor and proof-reader. 

In 1855, in the early part of the year, under the ministry of Eev. John E. Edwards, D. D., he 
professed faith in Christ and joined the Centenary Methodist Episcopal Church, South, in Eichmond, 
in which church his father was a steward and trustee. Soon after his conversion, he felt that he 
was called of God to preach the gospel. After consulting with Dr. Edwards, his pastor, he deter- 
mined to pursue his studies at Bandolph Macon College, then located near Boydton. Here, in ad- 
dition to other studies of the Academic department, he was instructed in theology by Dr. Granbery, 
' the Chaplain, and Dr. W. A. Smith, the President of the College, and sought to qualify himself for 
the great work to which he had been called. 

On the 22d of October, 1856, he, together with Eobt. N. Sledd, was licensed to preach the gospel 
by the Quarterly Conference of Eandolph Macon College. Eor one year he was a local preacher, 
preaching in various places as frequently as the way was opened by Divine Providence. At the 
Conference held, November, 1857, in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, he was received on trial into 
the Virginia Annual Conference, Methodist Episcopal Church, South. His first appointment was 
to Lexington circuit, as the colleague of Eev. J. E. Waggener, where he remained two years, wit- 
nessing and assisting in revivals which nearly doubled the membership of the circuit. In November, 
1859, he was appointed in charge of the Appomattox circuit. In 1860, he was sent to Harrisonburg 
station, where he remained until the secession of Virginia, when, by request of the 10th Eegiment 
Virginia Infantry, he entered the Army as chaplain of that Eegiment, and was the second commis 
sioned by the State of Virginia. In November, 1861, he returned to the regular work of the Con- 
ference, and was sent as preacher in charge of Lexington circuit, where he had commenced his itine- 
rant work, and where he remained two years more, witnessing the conversion of many scores of 
souls. In 1863, appointed to Cumberland circuit, where he remained for two years, and at the close 
of the war, by request, opened a school for boys and girls, which he taught only one session." In 
1865, he was in charge of Powhatan circuit. In 1866-'67-'68 and '69, he was stationed in Suffolk, 
Virginia. At the Conference of 1869, he was sent to Charlottesville. In 1870, he was appointed to 
Elizabeth City, North Carolina, remaining two years, and then entering upon the pastorate of Main 
' Street church, Danville, where he remained four years. During his pastorate here, the membership 
of the church was doubled, an old debt of $3,000 was paid, and about $12,000 subscribed and col- 
lected to complete the church edifice. In Danville his health, which had for five years been feeble, 
completely failed for two years, yet through the indulgence of his parishioners, who showed him every 



METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, SOUTH. 107 

mark of kindness and love, he was enabled to retain the pastoral charge, until his health was com- 
paratively restored. In 1876, he was placed in charge of Granby Street station, Norfolk city, where 
he is now completing the fourth year of his pastorate. 

For seven years " young Lambeth" has been an Assistant Secretary of the Virginia. Conference, 
He has been been twice married. On May 17th, 1859, by Eev. J. B. Waggener, to Miss Alice 
H. Graham, of Augusta county, Virginia ; and by Eev. W. G. Starr, on January 28th, 1870, to Miss 
Virginia J. Parker, of Nansemond county, Virginia, by whom he has three children. 



Rev. John James Lafferty, A. M. 

ME. LAFFEBTY was born in the county of Greensville, Virginia, on the 20th of April, 1837. 
He was the only child of George and Elizabeth Lafferty. His mother was a Lightf oot, of the 
family from England that settled early in tidewater Virginia. His grandfather, Charles Lafferty, 
about 1810, emigrated from Ireland to America. He was a gentleman of fortune and fiery temper. 
The British Government annoyed him in the lucrative, and (probably considered) patriotic, vocation 
of making Irish whiskey. In a great heat and contempt for British Eule, he sold his fine estate 
and left his native land and the business of furnishing his countrymen with then- national beve- 
rage, and sought the shores of America. He had some years previous carried off and married 
Lady Macfarlane, against the protest, vigilance, and arms of her father. She was the grandmother 
of the subject of this sketch. 

Of the church predelections and choleric disposition of Mr. Charles Lafferty, his grandson 
once had a hint. The young intinerant made a pilgrimage to a distant city to pay his respects to 
his venerable ancestor. The alert and judicious household deemed it discreet not to press upon the 
High Church patriarch the information that his grandson was a Methodist preacher. The old gen 
tleman, though in his ninetieth year, made disagreeable use of his cane, on occasions. 

Mr. George Lafferty was also a communicant of the Protestant Episcopal church, leaving to 
his heir an excellent prayer book, and a lot of empty champagne baskets. The Eev. George W. 
Charlton, of the Virginia Conference, (who officiated at the marriage of the parents of Mr. John J. 
Lafferty,) was wont to praise the contents of the baskets. They have been since put to the harm- 
less and homely use of carrying soiled linen to the laundry. The book remains an ornament, and idle. 

The father of the preacher with a number of gentlemen, in March, 1838, were drowned in the 
James by the sinking, in a storm, of the ferry-boat at Osborne's, where the old public road from 
Petersburg to Eichmond crossed the river, twelve miles below the latter city. His son was an 
infant. It was a curious coincidence that the first circuit Mr. Lafferty travelled included the site, 
of this abandoned ferry. He visited the spot with the Eev. Charles Friend, of Chesterfield, whQ 
owned the premises, and who gave a minute account of the accident, that left a babe an orphan., 



108 SKETCHES OF TEE VIRGINIA CONFERENCE. 

It was a sad errand. The loss to the boy -was measureless. Mr. George Lafferty was represented 
to be a person of superior parts. He left large interests, of which the fatherless child received 
two or three thousand dollars. The harpies devoured the bulk. One was enabledtp leave a picayune posi- 
tion in Virginia, and suddenly flourish in a Southern State on great acres. A curse fell on the men 
concerned in this cruel and vile deed. Mildew and blast came upon their estate, business and family. 

The boy was educated first at a classical academy in Hicksford (the shiretown of his native 
county) ; afterwards at a preparatory school of Eandolph Macon College, at Eidgeway, North Car- 
olina ; and at Emory and Henry College, and the University of Virginia. 

In the Spring of 1857, while a medical student in Petersburg, Virginia, he was converted under 
the ministry of the Eev. John E. Edwards, and joined the Virginia Conference at the session in Eli- 
zabeth City, North Carolina, in November of the same year, and has continued a member ever 
since. 

Mr. Lafferty was a chaplain in the Confederate army, and present at several of the chief actions 
of the Army of Northern Virginia. In 1864 he was attacked by a severe malady which was thought 
at the time by the surgeon to be a fatal illness. He was so disabled as to forbid regular duty with 
the army in the field. While contemplating a resignation, he was appointed by the Secretary of 
War, at the request of the General in command, on special service with the army in the Valley of 
Virginia with the rank of a major of cavalry, and in this position he remained till the surrender 
of the Army of Northern Virginia. 

At the close of the war, hS returned to his home, in Albemarle county, Virginia, and joined the 
Eev. E. W. Watts in a series of revivals in that county. At the meeting of the Conference, in the 
fall of 1865, he was granted a supernumerary relation on account of injury to his health while chap- 
lain in the Confederate service. In 1866 he removed to Lexington, Virginia, and for a number of 
years conducted a prosperous newspaper of reputation in that section of Virginia. When the Chair 
of Journalism was established at Washington College, under the Presidency of General Eobert E. 
Lee, Mr. Lafferty was selected to give instruction in that department. 

In 1874 he became associate editor of the " Eichmond Christian Advocate,'' and at the Confer- 
ence of 1877 was appointed editor of that journal, which is his present position. 



Rev. Jacob Henry Proctor. 

BEOTHEE PEOCTOE has, in a large measure, the solid character of the Briton. In his native 
land, England, he received early instruction from his father, a true Wesleyan. He seems to 
have inherited the sterling virtues of his parent. He has served the church with diligence and 
success. He has attached friends on all his fields of labor, and many remember him to bless him, 
for teaching them the way of life. He is gifted in the pulpit. 



METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, SOUTH. 109 

He has put in a small compass the chief facts of his life and ministry, which we use in this 
connection : 

I am a native of England, born in Lincolnshire, near Holbeach, in the year 1834. My father 
was a respectable English farmer, and a prominent member of the Wesleyan Methodist church. He 
was peculiarly gifted in the Sabbath-school work, and filled the office of Sunday-school superinten- 
dent during the greater part of his life. I owe more than words can express to his godly example, 
and to the instructions I received in the Sabbath school. 

My mother died when I was quite young, leaving me to the care of one of my sisters. She sub- 
sequently married a gentleman who had spent several years in America, and immediately after their 
marriage they came to this country, bringing me, by the consent of my father, along with them. 

In 1856 I joined the Clay-Street Methodist church in Richmond, then under the pastoral care 
of Rev. Geo. H. Ray. During the second year of his ministry there I was licensed to preach. That 
Fall I was received into the Virginia Conference, and appointed junior preacher to Westmoreland 
circuit. In 1859 I filled the place of junior preacher on the Lancaster circuit, and studied under 
John Moody, a graduate of Randolph Macon College, and then the principal of a large school at 
Lancaster Courthouse. In 1860 I was junior preacher on King George circuit ; 1861, withBro. L. S. 
Reed on Bedford circuit ; 1862, in "Williamsburg ; 1863, "Wesley Chapel, in Petersburg ; 1864, in 
charge of old Dinwiddie circuit ; 1865, stationed at Boydton ; and 1866 in Farmville. The Fa'1 
of that year I married a daughter of Rev. R. B. Foster, of Dinwiddie county, Virginia. The Con- 
ference formed the West Dinwiddie circuit, and appointed me to that field of labor for 1867. In 
1868 I was on the Appomattox circuit ; then my health entirely failed, and 1869, 1870 and 1871, I 
was placed on the supernumerary list ; 1872, in charge of "Wesley chapel and Blandford, in Peters- 
burg ; 1873, 1874, 1875 and 1876, on Prince George circuit ; and 1877-'8-'9-'80, I am again travel- 
ing the West Dinwiddie circuit. 



Rev. Robert Newton Sledd, A. M.-, D. D. 

DOCTOR SLEDD, almost from his entrance into the ministry, has served the church in its most 
important positions. His early educational advantages and subsequent studious habits have 
made him one of the best equipped ministers in theology in the Conference. He owes nothing to 
any music of voice, or shining and memoriter rhetoric. It is the edge of the scimeter and not 
jewels in the hilt that has won his position. He does not fling out ingots with the dirt of the mine 
clinging to them, but the milled and minted coin. His sermons are from choice material, and the 
patient tool fashions them. They are models in arrangement and development. His preparation 
is so thorough, and the command of his powers so supreme, that he seldom fails to keep his audi- 
ence interested to the last syllable. On notable occasions, he masters the hearers and sways them. 
3,t his will) 



UO SKETCHES OF THE VIRGINIA CONFERENCE 

He has a clear, ringing voice, and a face that brightens with the progress .of the discussion. 
He is a reticent man, and is not ready to join in social pastimes. He has no smiling compliments 
nor small talk. He doesn't speak on the floor of the Conference, nor shake hands. He is tall, long 
and greatly lacking in pompousness and strut. 

He is the son of James V. and Ann P. Sledd and was born in Powhatan county, Virginia, on 
the 19th of December, 1833. His father was of English, and his mother of French descent — the 
former of Methodist, and the latter of Baptist parentage. His father's house was not only a home 
of the Methodist preachers, but one of their regular preaching places in his early childhood His 
earliest religious instructions and impressions were received in the school of Methodism; His 
education began, and was continued until his seventeenth year, in such schools as the neighborhood 
afforded. In 1851 he entered Randolph Macon College, and graduated with distinction in 1855. 
In March of that year he was converted and joined the church, under the ministry of Eev. J. C. 
Granbery, then the College Chaplain. Immediately after graduation he became Principal of the 
Clarksville Male Academy, which position he held one year. In September, 1855, he was married 
to Fanny Carey Greene, of Warren, North Carolina. Twelve months afterwards he returned to 
Randolph Macon, and devoted himself to the study of theology under Dr. William A. Smith, then 
President of thecollege. InNovember, 1857,hewasreceivedintotheVirginiaAnnual Conference, and 
stationed in Suffolk, where he spent the year 1858 ; 1859-60, he was in charge of the Albemarle 
circuit ; in 1861-62, he was stationed at Market-Street, Petersburg ; the next four years at Court- 
Street, Lynchburg ; the next two at Trinity, Richmond ; then again at Court-Street four years, then 
at Market-Street again four years, and from thence he was sent to Centenary, Richmond his present 
field of labor. It will be seen that fourteen of the twenty-two years of his ministry have been spent 
with two churches, Market Street, Petersburg, and Court-Street, Lynchburg. In all of these charges 
the blessing of God has been upon his labors. In 1875 he received the degree of Doctor of Divin,- 
ity from Emory and Henry College. In addition to the pastoral oversight of one of the leading 
churches of the connection, he is editor and publisher of the Theological and Homiletie Monthly. 



METEODtSt. EPISCOPAL CHURCH, SOUTH. \ : 111 



. Rev. Robert William Watts.. 

HE is of the somewhat noted class of 1857, and being the oldest member, has been held as' the 
patriarch of the body. They are firmly and fondly attached to him, and he is worthy of all 
honor, an Israelite indeed, and without guile. 

His preaching shows that he has not let his college diploma lie neglected and rusty. He is 
studious, but searching for the form of sound words, not for the material for poetical fancies. He 
is a theologian well grounded in Methodist doctrine. And much more, the sermon is steeped in a 
devout heart. His public prayers often move the congregation to tears. He is discreet, and has 
the gift of wise direction in church affairs. The purest and noblest virtues meet in him. In Peid 
mont Virginia Bob Watts is without a rival in the affections of the churches. Only pastoral limit 
takes him away from weeping flocks. 

He is the son of James D. and Jane S. Watts, was born in Amherst county, Virginia, October 
16th, 1825. The loss of a mother in his fourth year,- deprived him of an influence supplied by 
nothing else. The instructions, however, of a pious father, made impressions that have never been 
effaced. Ardent and impressive, he was often led astray, but the parental example and instruction 
under God, brought him back again. The advantages of good schools in Charlottesville and vicin 
ity were afforded him; and in his seventeenth year he went to Emory and Henry College, where he 
continued to graduation. During the first year he sought the Lord and ■ connected himself with 
the church, having felt a conviction from the earliest childhood that he was to preach. He resisted 
these feelings, and engaged in the business of teaching. . After marriage, and the lapse" of six 
years, whilst in charge of Higginbotham Academy, at Amherst Courthouse, a wonderful revival 
under the ministry of Eev. M. L. Bishop, assisted by Dr. J. E. Edwards and D. P. Wills, took place. 
The preaching was wonderful, and some fifty professions was the result. Mr. Watts and two others 
were induced under the influence of this meeting to enter the ministry. He was licensed in the 
Quarterly Conference of Amherst circuit by Dr. Bosser on Saturday before the 3d Sabbath in Jan- 
uary, 1857, a day memorable on account of a snow storm, that surpassed any in the memory of the 
oldest inhabitants. Joined the Virginia Conference that Fall, and was sent to Orange circuit, where 
he labored two years, during the first of which his wife died. In 1859 he was sent to Loudoun, 
remaining two years. In 1861, to Warrenton. After a stay of three months he fell back with John- 
son's army, and with his two daughters continued in Amherst, preaching, teaching, and working on 
a farm for support until the Conference of 1865. He, having been married the second time, was 
sent to Albemarle and remained four years, then to Madison four years, afterwards sent to Albemarle 
four years. He is now on Greene the second year. 



112 SKETCHES OF THE VIRGINIA CONFERENCE, 



Rev. James Erasmus McSparran. 

"11 ITR. McSPARRAN has served the church in the last twenty-three years, with faithfulness and 
JLtJL crowning success, bringing in a great company of converts, and building the walls of Zion. 
God has given testimony to his labors. His sermons are of well chosen material, firmly joined and 
built up into a strong edifice, and not without grace. The temporal interest is kept well in hand 
and cared for. Churches prosper in his charge. 

He was born in the county of Albemarle, Virginia, July 24th, 1833. He was converted under 
the ministry of Rev. Ballard E. Gibson, in the year 1853, at Chesnut Grove church, in the village 
of EarlyvUle, one of the appointments in the Albemarle circuit, of which Mr. Gibson had charge. 
Over fifty persons embraced religion at that meeting — among whom were the mother, brother, and 
two sisters of the subject of this sketch — three of whom have passed away, together with his 
father and two other brothers, leaving only himself and youngest sister. 

Soon after making a profession of religion, he was exercised in mind on the subject of a call 
to the ministry, but such was the defectiveness of his mental training, together with extreme diffidence 
as to cause him to doubt the genuineness of his convictions on that subject. "While thus exercised 
he seemed to be divinely led to engage as colporteur for the American Tract Society, through the 
recommendation of a friend, and remained in its service till November, 1857, at which time he was 
received into the Virginia Conference, and appointed to serve with J. D. Lumsden on the Princess 
Anne circuit. He has served successively Currituck Mission, Patterson Creek circuit, three years 
chaplaincy in the Confederate army, Spottsylvania, East Campbell, Buckingham, Northampton, 
Greensville, West Dinwiddie, Appomattox, Pittsylvania circuits, Conquest and Guilford churches in 
Accomac county, Virginia, now in charge of Bertie circuit, North Carolina, and witnessed, directly or 
indirectly through his instrumentality, the conversion to God of between twelve and fifteen hundred 
souls. He has been successful in advancing the temporal interests of the church — especially in se- 
curing, repairing, and refurnishing parsonages and in building churches. 




Vanderslice 



HARROUN fcBIERSTAD" 



METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, SOUTH. 113 



Rev. James Powell Garland, A. M. 

ME. Garland is wanting in nothing that makes up a model of physical grace and manly form. 
His face is Grecian, and would have invited the chisel of the sculptor. He is tall and erect 
without any lordliness of look or carriage. If we are not in error, there is some of the Pocahontas blood 
in his veins. The tinge of olive, the straight raven hair, the upright bearing, the continence of 
words are the croppings out of Indian traits. His manner is easy and quiet. He does not aspire 
to the chief place in conversation. He is never guilty of monologue in company with or without 
flashes of silence. His observations, however, are pithy, and sometimes of subtile humor, perhaps 
with gentle satire — a lancet dipped in chloroform. 

He is possessed of the gifts and graces, as speaker, student and pastor that command the first 
places in the Conference. 

He is the son of Samuel Meredith and Mildred Irving Garland, and was born in Amherst 
county, Va., November 9th, 1835. His parents being members of the Protestant Episcopal Church, 
he was reared under its influence, and received from it his early religious impressions. He made a 
public profession of religion during a revival conducted by Methodist ministers, and held in an 
Episcopal church in his native county. This was the first revival of religion, under the ministry of 
the Methodist church, he had ever witnessed, and he at once joined that church. 

He very soon became exercised on the subject of entering the ministry, but continued to prose- 
cute his studies, at that time attending Higginbotham Academy in Amherst county, and afterwards 
completed his education at Emory and Henry College, at which institution he graduated in June, 
1857. 

Returning from college, he immediately commenced the study of the law, intending to make 
that the profession of his life. He continued, however, to be greatly exercised on the subject of a 
call to the ministry, and finally abandoned the law, was licensed to preach and received on trial into 
the Virginia Annual Conference, at its session in Portsmouth, Virginia, November, 1858. 

From this Conference he was sent in charge of Appomattox circuit. His ministry on this cir • 
cuit was attended by extensive revivals, resulting in about one hundred and fifty conversions. His 
second year was in charge of Cumberland circuit, which was also blessed with extensive revival 
work. In 1860, he was sent to Fincastle, at that time embraced in the Virginia Conference. Here 
he was returned the second year, and in the following August formally resigned his charge, and en- 
tered the Confederate army as chaplain of the 52nd Eegiment of Virginia Infantry, then under 
General Loring in the valley of the Kanawha. He remained with this Regiment until the follow- 
ing winter, when he was transferred to the 49th Regiment Virginia Infantry, Army of Northern Vir- 
ginia, and was present at the battles of Chancellorsville, "Winchester, Gettysburg, the Wilderness, 
Spottsylvania Courthouse, Coal Harbor and other engagements. In the fall of 1864, on account, 
of ill health, he resigned the chaplaincy, and was appointed in charge of Amherst circuit, where *he. 
was continued four years. In November, 1868, he was appointed to Manchester, and then to Trinity, 
Richmond, remaining at each of these stations two years, and both were blessed with gracious re,- 
15 



114 SKETCHES OF TEE VIRGINIA CONFERENCE 

vivals. From Richmond he was sent to Portsmouth in charge of what was then known as Din- 
widdie Street station. Here he remained four years, during which time he projected and completed 
Monumental church, as a memorial of Eobert Williams, the pioneer of Southern Methodism. From 
Portsmouth he was sent to Petersburg in charge of Market Street station, and is now filling his 
fourth year there. 



w 



Rev. James Carson Martin. 

Tt. Martin has the superb equipment of a sound mind in a sound body. In physique he is a 

fine specimen of the genus homo. In the stout frame is a robust intellect. His mind sits well 
on its keel. In nautical phrase, it doesn't list. In the direction of the religious and secular inter- 
ests of the church he has special fitness. He is equally gifted in the pulpit. His material is well 
selected, judiciously arrayed and brought forward with singular felicity and force. His resources 
are ample, and his intercourse with his people augments the ties between them. Of course such a 
minister wears well. 

His birthplace is Norfolk. His age dates from the 17th January, 1836. His parent were Alex- 
ander A. and Pamela Martin. 

His mother was the daughter of Jonathan Woodhouse, of Princess Anne county, Virginia. His 
father, born in. Norfolk, Virginia, was the son of Andrew Martin, of Scotland, and Miss Margaret 
Mohun, of Virginia. His paternal grandfather emigrated to this country before the Revolutionary 
war, was a devout Presbyterian, and had the pleasure and honor of entertaining Rev. Joseph Pil- 
moor when he landed in Norfolk. 

His father and mother were converted under the ministry of Rev. Joseph Carson. Young Mar- 
tin was baptized in infancy by this holy man, and bears a part of his name. He left school at the 
age of seventeen, having spent four or five years in one of the best classical schools in the State. 
Before he became twenty-one years of age, such had been his usefulness to his employer, one of the 
oldest and most successful druggists in Norfolk, that he gave Mr. Martin an interest in his business. 
A fortune was in the near future. About this time, May, 1856, Mr. Martin was converted to God 
under the ministry of Rev. D. P. Wills. His call to preach was born with his conversion. After 
many severe and protracted mental conflicts, he resolved to leave all and follow Christ. Before this 
resolve was known to others, he was made the leader of a class of cultivated and deeply pious ladies. 
Then exhorter's license was given him unsolicited. In November, 1859, ho was recommended by 
the Quarterly Conference of Cumberland Street station, Norfolk, Va., and joined the Virginia Con- 
ference at the session held in Lynchburg the same year. 

His first appointment was to Hertford circuit, N. C, as the junior of Rev. J. J. Edwards. In 
I860, he was sent to Gosport station ; but as they had determined in advance of his appointment, 



ttfifHODISt ISPlSCOPAL CBUBCH, SOUfH. 115 

to receive no more unordained pastors, his Presiding Elder, Dr. L. M. Lee, sent him to the East- 
ville circuit as second man, and changed him again in a few months, putting him in charge of the 
Gates circuit in the place of Eev. B. T. Nixon, who had died. In 1861, he was in charge of James 
Street, Norfolk, Va. In 1862-3, Cumberland Street ; in 1864, Market Street, Petersburg. He went 
with General Lee's army upon its evacuation of Petersburg, in April, that the privilege of preach^ 
ing the Gospel might not be denied him again by the Federal authorities, as it had been done in 
Norfolk the latter part of his second term at Cumberland Street. Eeturning to Petersburg after 
the surrender, he found that Bishop Early had very properly assigned Dr. Granbery to the pasto- 
rate of Market Street station, and had found work for Mr. Martin at Wesley chapel, Portsmouth, 
until Conference. In 1865, he was sent to Taylor's Island, now Dorchester circuit, Md ; 1866, to 
Pungoteague circuit ; 1870, to Gloucester circuit ; 1874, to Elizabeth City, N. C; and 1876-'77-'78 
.and 1879, to Suffolk, Va. Nearly 2,000 souls have been converted under his ministry. He was mar- 
ried to Miss Virginia Hudgins, Hertford, Perquiman's county, N. C. Six children have been given 
to them, five of whom are living. 



Rev. Benjamin Thomas Ames. 

THE likeness over this name is of a man held in bed for years by paralysis, brought on during the 
war by long rides on the Eastern Shore in snow and ice, preaching to the people, who were as 
a flock without a shepard in those evil days. He has served the church for a number of years, join 
ing the Conference in 1857, with a devotion that knew no discouragement or unfaithfulness. He 
is loved and honored by his brethren. 

He cannot now move hand or foot, and needs change of position every hour night and day to 
secure moderate comfort. He is full of faith and patience, trusting in God. It is a touching 
scene to look upon this saint, helpless as a babe, and often in torture, suffering the will of God 
without a murmur. His dumb lips are more eloquent than tongue of an orator. 

Through the long nights and by day, for years, a devout woman and most devoted of wives has 
ministered to her husband. The holy angels could choose in the broad land no spot where religion 
shines out in purer or brighter flame. 



116 SKETCHES OF THE VIRGINIA CONFERENCE, 



Rev. Edgar Hehndon Pritchett. 

TI1HE subject of this sketch unites in himself the elegant and courtly Christian gentleman and the 
_L tireless itinerant. He charms by the sweet and graceful manners that come of good breeding, 
while he secures the respect and honor of the people by the fervor of his piety and his activity in the 
cause of the Master. Popularity and revivals mark his life in the Conference. 

He was born at Stanardsville, in Orange county, Virginia, (now Greene) on the 4th of Septem- 
ber, A. D., 1828. His father, Eobert Pritchett, was the son of Benjamin A. Pritchett and Miss 
Herndon of Spottsylvania ; his mother was the daughter of Captain Alexander Hunton, of Madison. 
Mr. Pritchett made a profession of religion in his native place in 1856, and connected himself with 
the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, under the ministry of Rev. D. J. C. Slaughter, in charge of 
Madison circuit. He was licensed a local preacher by the Quarterly Conference at Madison Court- 
house, on the 1st of October, 1859, and received on trial in the travelling connection, and appointed 
to Nelson circuit as junior preacher with Rev. M. L. Bishop. We have a note from Mr. Pritchett, 
recalling the experience of his " first year" — always an interesting period. We use his language in 
the review of his fields of labor. 

This was a blessed year to me. All my fears in regard to my call to the ministry by the Great 
Head of the Church happily evanished before the spiritual experience, it was my blessed privilege 
richly to enjoy ; and the large number of converts during the year confirmed me in the conviction, 
that the Lord had called me to this work. No one is prepared to tell. None can fully appreciate 
or respond to the feelings of the " young Steward," until he has passed through the doubts and 
fears that harrass and perplex his mind and heart. I shall never forget the tenderness and sympa- 
thy with which I was received into the homes of my people ; and I can truly say that it was through 
this expressed kindness, that I was kept at the post of duty which I. felt the Lord had assigned 
me and encouraged to work for the Master. There were one hundred and ninety conversions this 
year, and one hundred and sixty added to the church. 

At the Conference of 1860, I was appointed to Orange circuit. It was here I fully experienced 
all those embarrassments, which usually attend the preaching of the Gospel among the people, where 
we have been reared, and who are familiar with our past lives as sinners. I thank the Lord, how- 
ever, that I was strengthened by the consciousness ever present, that I was a sinner saved by Divine 
Grace, and that the life I then lived was by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave him- 
self for me, and that I could commend him to them, as able to save to the uttermost all that came 
to God by him. I can say that this was a most pleasant, profitable and successful year to me. It 
was indeed a happy year, for who can be happier than the man who feels assured that God has called 
Viim to " work in his vineyard," and to see that work prospering in his hands. There were most 
gracious outpourings of the Divine Spirit upon almost all of the churches, and about one hundred 
added to the church. I was ordained deacon by Bishop James O. Andrew, at the November session 
of the Conference of 1861, and appointed to Fredericksburg, where I remained until about the 23rd 
of April, when the Federal troops appearing before the city and taking the " Heights" known as 



JiETHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, SOUTH. 117 

" Lacy's", the members of my charge fearing my arrest and imprisonment, insisted upon my leaving. 
I have the gratification to know that the temporal, if not the spiritual condition of the church was 
greatly improved ; and that, among the communicants, we had some of the highest type of Chris- 
tian profession and life. 

Brother Eobertson, who was in charge of Nelson circuit, having died early in the spring of that 
year, Eev. Joseph H. Davis, then Presiding Elder of the Charlottesville district, communicated that 
fact to me, and that the Quarterly Conference had requested him to get me to take charge of the 
circuit for the remainder of the year. I highly appreciated this renewed expression of the thought 
and kindness of this people toward me ; accepted their expressed wishes in the matter, but was un 
avoidably prevented from reaching the circuit until September. 

At the Conference of 1862, 1 was again returned to this, the first field of my labors, where God 
had so graciously blessed and signally prospered me the first yEar of my ministry, and where I 
could really feel that the place was consecrated and hallowed to me. Large revivals attended the 
preaching of the Word this year also ; but I do not now remember the number added to the church. 
At the Conference of 1863, I was ordained Elder by Bishop George F. Pierce, and appointed to 
Madison circuit, where I remained four years. Again in the providence of God, I was sent to a 
people who knew me, and though the' dark cloud of war hung with ever deepening and thickening 
folds over our once peaceful and happy country — the people in perplexity, sorrow and difficulties — 
yet the work of the Lord moved steadily and encouragingly forward, and these years were full of 
spiritual prosperity and growth. There were largely over two hundred conversions ; almost all of 
whom connected themselves with our church, and at the close of the war, the churches were repaired 
and improved, and the circuit left in a fine condition. 

In 1867, I was appointed to Culpeper circuit, where I remained four years. This county may 
be said to have been the great " thoroughfare" of both armies. Out of eight churches before the 
war, only three were left at its close, and they in such condition as to be wholly unfit for religious 
purposes. The church at Culpeper Courthouse particularly, having been almost literally torn to 
pieces by the Federal soldiers, and used as a stable and for other purposes, so repugnant to a sense 
of common decency, and to all the convictions, sensibilities, and refinements even • of a professed 
Christian people as to stigmatize them forever with the brand of infamy and disgrace. I found only 
seven members belonging to the class here during the four years. We enjoyed the most gracious 
seasons of revival I almost ever witnessed. Largely over two hundred were added to the church ; 
two new churches were built, one repaired and placed in a better condition than before the war, all 
the classes added to and strengthened, the church at the Courthouse thoroughly repaired and fur- 
nished in very handsome style, and the membership increased to about forty. The excessive labor 
on this circuit, and constant thought and anxiety of mind in its interests made it almost absolutely 
necessary that I should have some respite ; at least for a short time, from the active work of the 
ministry. Acting under the advice of my physician, these facts were brought before the Bishop 
and his council, and I received the appointment as agent for " The Virginia Bible Society,'' for the 
Northeastern district of the State. Having sufficiently recovered my health and strength at the 
end of the year, I determined to enter again upon the active work of the itinerancy ; and at the en- 
suing Conference, received the appointment to Bedford circuit, where I remained four years. Dur- 
ing the four years on this circuit, churches were built and repaired, and there were about five hun- 
dred and twenty five conversions. Aided by the Rev. Dr. Bosser and Rev. N. B. Foushee, the 



lis Sketches of tee Virginia conference, 

junior on the circuit the last year I was there, there were three hundred and twenty-five con-- 
versions, as well as I now remember. 

In 1876, I was appointed to Campbell circuit, where I remained two years. During the two 
years, one new church was built, two others provided for, others remodeled, thoroughly repaired 
and painted, and two hundred and sixty-eight conversions ; the larger number of them uniting with 
our church. 

In 1879, he was appointed to the Louisa circuit, where prosperity attended his ministry. He 
was returned in 1880. 



Rev. Henry Chapman Bowles. 

BOWLES is of the salt of the earth. The root of the matter is in him. The noble virtues find 
a fit soil in his soul. Conversions follow his proclamation of the gospel. The Spirit honors 
his ministry. The church rejoices in him. He gives the pure Word, and enforces, both by clear 
and full force of delivery, and by a godly life and conversation. He is a valuable man. 

He is the son of Benjamin and Jane Bowles, was born in Bedford county, Virginia, November, 
21st, 1831. Brought up by pious parents — both of whom were members of the Methodist Epis 
copal Church, he felt his great need of a Saviour at a very tender age. From his earliest recollec- 
tions, he was a penitent ; and for several years, he craved and sought pardon through the blood of a 
crucified Redeemer. He distinctly remembers that when but a lad, he once remained in a class- 
meeting with his parents, at old Jointee church, that he might hear what the members of the church 
had to say for themselves on the subject of experimental religion ; and that, in the course of the 
meeting, the class-leader, -Brother Wilson, addressed him in this language: "Henry, my son, do 
you love the Lord Jesus Christ, your Saviour ?" The question was so unexpected, it was like a peal 
of thunder from a clear sky. But it was not in vain : it sank deep in his heart, filling his eyes with 
tears, and his soul with inexpressible grief, so that he was unable to make any response. It had 
the happy effect of strengthening the conviction already produced in his mind by the faithful in- 
structions received from his fond and devoted parents. 

He professed conversion at a camp meeting held at Hobson's camp-ground, near Calvary 
church, August 31st, 1847. He had been impressed from his childhood that he would some day be 
a preacher of the'gospel. That impression was greatly augmented soon after his conversion, but 
he was afraid to recognize the conviction of duty thus riveted to his mind as a call to the ministry 
For when he thought of being an ambassador for Christ — God's mouth to man — a messenger of 
heaven to a sinful world — various difficulties were suggested as being in the way of his filling that 
sacred office. To his mind, those difficulties m agnified themselves into an inseparable barrier, and 



METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, SOUTH. Il9 

seemed to preclude the possibility of bis ever taking such a prominent position in the Church of 
God. Then, characterizing himself " slow of speech, and of a slow tongue," he satisfied his con 
science that he could serve his Master more profitably in some humbler sphere. After the lapse of 
several years, he discovered that he had lost much of the zest and fervor of religious life, and he 
became distressed about his past unfaithfulness to his Maker. At this juncture of his Christian 
career, he resolved to consecrate himself to the Master's work, and go wherever the hand of Provi- 
dence directed him. This resolution, made in good faith, he soon felt the burden of a call to the 
ministry resting upon him. His conviction of duty was clear and satisfactory ; but when he con- 
sidered the responsibility and sanctity of the ministerial office, he trembled at the idea of being 
clothed with its solemn and momentous functions. 

In 1858, he was licensed as an exhorter. His piety and zeal attracted the notice of Rev. Wil- 
liam C. Blount, preacher in charge of Bedford circuit, who advised him to devote his time to the 
study of theology. Acting upon this advice, he became a student of divinity in his (Blount's) 
house, in 1859, and remained with him several months. From there he went to Emory and Henry 
College, at which institution of learning he spent about ten months in the acquisition of know- 
ledge. April, 1860, in New Hope church, at the earnest solicitation of an aged father in Israel, 
Samuel P. It. Moorman, he ventured to take a text and tried to preach. July 14th, 1860, he was 
licensed as a local preacher In November of that year he joined the Virginia Annual Conference, 
in Alexandria, Virginia, and entered on the regular work of an itinerant preacher. His first ap- 
pointment was to Amherst circuit, with Rev. Jacob Manning as preacher in charge. He preacned 
on this circuit until May following, when in consequence of the great excitement which prevailed 
at the opening of the late war, he laid aside for awhile the ministerial office for the purpose of de- 
fending his country from the hostile force that was invading her. In this matter he thinks he 
acted very precipitately. He took the step, in his opinion, without proper reflection, influenced by 
persons who were utterly incapable of estimating ministerial responsibility. He enlisted and 
served one year as a soldier in the Confederate army. Then, legally exonerated from military ser 
vice, he returned home in June, 1862, but with his health much impaired. 

In November following he attended the session of the Virginia Annual Conference, held in Pe • 
tersburg, Virginia, reported himself ready for work, and was appointed to Brunswick circuit, with 
Rev. D. J. C. Slaughter as his senior. In July Mr. Slaughter's health failed, and he went to the 
mountains, hoping that it might be restored, and Mr. Bowles was left, as junior preacher in charge, 
assisted by Rev. W. S. Williams. Under his pastoral care the circuit was blessed with a very gra 
cious outpouring of the Holy Spirit. The revival commenced at Mount Carmel, the third Sunday 
in August, and spread from one church to another until one hundred and fifty souls professed conver 
sion, and upwards of one hundred and twenty were added to the church. In 1864 he was appoint 
ed to Mecklenburg circuit, with Rev. T. J. Bayton ; 1865, to Prince Edward, with Rev. Jacob Man- 
ning; 1866, to Slate River circuit, as preacher in charge ; 1867, to Spottsylvania ; 1868, to Second- 
Street, Portsmouth, Virginia ; 1869, to Patrick; 1870, to Franklin; 1871-4, to Henry; 1875-8, 
Halifax. His labors on this circuit were crowned with considerable success each year. About two 
hundred souls professed conversion to God during his pastoral term in this circuit, a large number 
of whom were added to the church. 

In 1879, he was appointed to Franklin circuit, where, with " a chosen band," he is now con- 
fronting the " armies of the aliens," hopeful of a successful and happy year. He has had the plea- 
sure of seeing the fruits of his labors in the conversion of souls in every pastoral charge that he 
has served. In some charges h e had. many conversions, in others, only a few. 



120 SKETCHES OF THE VIRGINIA CONFERENCE 



Rev. James Whitfield Compton. 

IN running the eye down the roll, by common consent, James Compton would be selected as one 
man ready to give a reason for the hope that is in him, and ready to die if need be, for the Lord 
Jesus. He has an experience and the courage of his convictions. 

He is an admirable preacher. He divides the word with skill, and enforces it with vigor. He 
knows for himself the truth he delivers. It has a force gathered from his own convictions. There 
is no dry thunder. The showers fall. 

Duties so well done in the pulpit might lead some to pass by the pastoral work. Far otherwise 
with him. He is especially diligent among the people — quitting himself of his whole responsibility 
as a Methodist preacher. H e is wise enough to see that an unreading people will be an unstable 
people, and he therefore has circulated a large amount of our books among his parishioners. He 
builds up his people in solid instruction. He holds that a Methodist ignorant of the common affairs 
of his church, is a disgrace to his preacher. 

He is a man of intrinsic worth to his church, and a noble soldier in Christian warfare. 

He is the son of John and Lydia Compton, was born in Bedford county, Virginia, December 
5th, 1835. 

His father was an industrious, thrifty farmer, who started with nothing of this world's goods ; 
but by dint of indefatigable toil and strict economy, maintained and reared his family in comfort 
and respectability, besides accumulating a snug little estate. He was a Methodist of the old type, 
and died triumphantly in his sixty-ninth year. 

His mother was a Wright, daughter of Matthew and Nancy Wright, of Bedford Bounty. Her 
parents were "Primitive Baptists,'' and she was brought up in the faith of that peculiar sect. 

After her marriage, she attended Methodist meetings, and after seeking religion for eleven 
years, she threw aside the stumbling block of "Election" and "Predestination,'' and by faith em- 
braced Jesus as her Saviour, He having tasted death for every man. She at once connected herself 
with the Methodists, and was a firm believer in the doctrines of that church. For many years it has 
been her habit to fast every Friday, and she professed to find the blessing of sanctification. 

John and Lydia Compton lost, in infancy, their first-born — a daughter. They raised three chil- 
dren ; James W-, Mary E., and John Nelson, all of whom professed faith in Christ in the days of 
childhood. 

James W., the subject of this sketch, was the oldest of the surviving children. During his 
minority his health was very poor, in consequence of which he grew but very little ; commenced 
growing at twenty, and grew slowly for seven years, but remained small. He worked hard on the 
farm until of age, going to school occasionally in the vicinity of home. During the fifteen months 
spent at Emory and Henry College, from January, 1859, to June, 1860, he studied with a view to 
teaching a good English school, or clerking in a store ; not with reference to the ministry, although 
the duty of preaching had been impressed upon his mind from his earliest recollection ; and in 
childish play he used to preach and hold meeting with such children as he could collect together. 



MfiftiODIST EPISCOPAL CEtJRCti, SOUfH. 12l 

After his return from college,.he was negotiating with a merchant to clerk for him, when on Sunday* 
July 15th, 1860, at New Hope church, Bedford county, while listening to Eev. George W. Lang- 
home preach from Luke xix. 13 : " And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, 
and said unto them, occupy till I come ;'' that sermon so impressed his mind, that he then and there 
resolved, by the help of the Lord, to put forth an effort to perform that to which he felt God had 
called him, and from which he had hitherto excused himself from a consciousness of incompetency 
for a work of such fearful responsibility. "When this conclusion was reached, great peace ensued. 
Prior to this time there seemed to be a continual agitation ; but then there was a great calm. No 
one knew anything at all of these things until sometime afterward, he unbosomed himself to his 
mother, who was much gratified at the course of events. 

October 13th, 1860, he was licensed to preach, by Rev. George W. Langhorne, Presiding Elder, 
Eev. L. S. Reed being the preacher in charge of Bedford circuit. His first sermon was preached 
at Thomas' chapel, to a crowded: house, from Romans i. 16: "I am not ashamed of the Gospel of 
Christ." 

At Alexandria, November, 1860, he was admitted on trial in the Virginia Conference, and sent 
as assistant to the Campbell circuit, Rev. H. M. Linney being in charge. After preaching about six 
months, he joined the army as a private soldier in the " Campbell Lee Guards," Forty-second Re 
giment. But five months were spent in the service, when he was discharged in consequence of 
physical inability to perform the duties of a soldier. He went into the army from conscientious 
convictions of duty, and never regretted it. 

At the Conference held in Norfolk, 1861, he was continued on trial, and put in charge of Nor- 
folk circuit, where he remained but two and a half months, martial law preventing his attending to 
his circuit ; and by the advice of his Presiding Elder, Dr. L. M. Lee, he returned home and taught 
school, preaching as he had opportunity. 

In 1863, 1864 and 1865, he was in charge of Slate River circuit, Buckingham county. In Octo- 
ber, 1863, he was married to Mary E. Campbell, daughter of Gustavus and Mary E. Campbell, of 
Campbell county, Virginia, with whom he lived happily until December 12th, 1876, when she was 
called from the toils of earth to the reward of the skies. 

The winter of 1865 he moved to Dinwiddie, having been appointed to that circuit ; but the 
preacher appointed to West Dinwiddie, failing to take the pastoral oversight thereof, he had charge 
of Dinwiddie and West Dinwiddie for 1886, and of Dinwiddie the two succeeding years. 

For several months in 1868 he walked the Dinwiddie circuit, having lost the price of his horse, 
(which he deposited with a firm in Petersburg), and being unable to purchase another. 

In 1869 and 1870, he was in charge of East Norfolk circuit ; in 1871 and 1872, Bertie circuit, 
North Carolina, then having but four appointments, it having been recently divided. 

During the years 1873, 1874 and 1875, he was in charge of Pasquotank circuit, North Carolina, 
embracing all of Pasquotank, a portion of Camden, and a part of Perquimans. He lived in Eliza- 
beth City, in a rented house. Five years of his ministerial life was spent in the " Old North State ;" 
and, for the most part, very pleasantly. 

His labors for 1876 and 1877 were in Southampton circuit, Virginia, where, for the first time, 
he occupied a parsonage. 

In October, 1877, he was married to Eliza J. Norvell, daughter of John G. and Jane L. Nor- 
vell, of Fluvanna county, Virginia. 

For the years of 1878 and-1879, he was put in charge of Surry circuit. 
16 



122 SKETCHES OF TEE VIRGINIA CONFERENCE, 

During his ministry he has given considerable attention to selling books — and during eighteen 
years he has sold about two thousand dollars' worth of books, and although many of them were 
sold on credit, he but seldom failed to collect the price thereof. He esteems it a very important 
feature in our work to scatter good, wholesome literature among the people. He has married nearly 
one hundred couples. In every field of labor there has been some success ; souls have professed 
conversion, and in some instances considerable spiritual power has characterized the revival occa- 
sions, for which God's name is to be praised. 



Rev. George Edward Booker, A. M. 

MR. BOOKER has cultivated his strong, native endowments with assiduity, having in youth the 
best advantages, and in riper years the habits of a student. He has superior gifts for the 
pulpit, and is eminently happy on the platform as a lecturer. There is instruction and humor at 
the desk. His sermons have the weight of metal and the form for rapid and sure flight. He is a 
speaker of uncommon ability. He has the solid virtue of a Christian and the sincere and manly 
characteristics that attach friends, and never betray them. He has served his generation in church 
and in arms with unwavering fidelity. 

He is a native of Buckingham county, Virginia. His parents were William Booker and Nancy 
D. Agee. In early life he removed with his parents to Cumberland county, Virginia. He professed 
religion, and united with the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, in August, 1848. He spent seve- 
ral years pursuing the regular academic course at Randolph Macon College, and graduated at that 
institution in 1853, the degree of A. B. being conferred on him. Soon after receiving his diploma, 
and recommendations from all the members of the faculty for proficiency in the varied branches of 
a collegiate education, he became one of the Principals of the Southside Institute— then a flourish- 
ing school of high grade, located in the town of Earmville, Virginia. 

He entered the Virginia Conference in 1859, and was sent to Lexington, Virginia. In 1860 he 
was sent to the Patrick circuit. In the Spring of 1861 the civil war breaking out, he seemed to be 
providentially called to the scene of conflict. He remained in the army until the close of the war, 
holding during the time several commissions, and passing through the hardships and trials peculiar 
to soldier life. In 1865, he was sent to the Middlesex circuit ; in 1866, Charlotte circuit ; in 1867 
and 1868, Scottsville ; in 1869-70-71, High-Street, Petersburg ; in 1872-73, Elizabeth City, North 
Carolina ; in 1874-75, Suffolk, Virginia ; in 1876, Union Station, Richmond ; in 1877-80, Glouces- 
ter circuit. During the years of his ministry he has travelled six circuits, and filled four stations 
His devotion to his work is seen in the repairs and improvements of the churches which he has 
served, and the invocations of the blessings of heaven upon him by " the poor," to whom he has 
preached the gospel in its purity and simplicity. 



METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, SOUTH. 123 



Rev. Major Samuel Colonna. 

THERE is self-poise, clear vision and nerve in Colonna. He has settled convictions. He is not 
of the willow. His mind is made up. There is no haze in the air. He scrutinizes every question. 
He finds the kernel. He glorifies his theme. He is a safe leader and wise counsellor. He expounds 
with force and lucidity. The affairs of his works never ravel out. He has a striking face and fine 
presence. 

Major Samuel Colonna, third son and youngest child of Rev. William P. and Sarah D. Colonna, 
was born June 17, 1833, in Northampton county, Virginia, and was educated at Margaret Academy, 
in the adjoining county of Accomac. Moving to Norfolk a short time after leaving school, he be 
came a regular attendant upon divine worship at the Cumberland-street Methodist church, where he 
professed religion under the ministry of Dr. Nelson Head. The subject of this sketch cannot re- 
member the period when he did not feel that to preach the gospel would and must be his life-work. 
He was licensed an exhorter by Rev. Prank Stanley November, 1857, and in a few days thereafter 
was licensed to preach by the Quarterly Conference of the Granby street Methodist church, Norfolk. 
He moved his membership to that charge for that purpose (the fourth Quarterly Conference of his 
own church — Cumberland street — having been held). He traveled without applying to the Con- 
ference for admission ; his first year under the Presiding Elder was on the Hertford circuit with 
Rev. J. B. Dey. He joined the Conference November, 1858, and was sent as the junior preacher, 
with Rev. Jeremiah McMullen, to the Princess Anne circuit, embracing at that time seventeen ap- 
pointments. In 1859 he traveled the Eastville circuit. At the Conferences of 1860 -'61 he was 
appointed to the Dorchester charge, Maryland, being the first minister from the Virginia Confer- 
ence to that field. The first year of his ministry in this charge one entire church, without the loss 
of a member, united with the circuit from the Philadelphia Conference. The war breaking out in 
April, 1861, and leaving him within the Federal lines, he did not attend the ensuing Conference, 
which was held in November at Norfolk. Being re appointed to the same charge, and the war con- 
tinuing, as the time approached for holding the Conference of 1862, which was appointed for Pe- 
tersburg, he began to cast about as to the most practicable route to take to secure his attendance. 
All lines of public communication were cut off. Provided with a letter of recommendation from 
Hon. Thomas Holliday Hicks, who was then Governor of Maryland, he started for Washington to 
procure, if possible, from President Lincoln a permit to penetrate the Federal lines. On arriving 
at the capital, however, he ascertained that no functionary could grant his request but the Secretary 
of State, Hon. William H. Seward. On applying to him in person, he was politely told that his 
request could not be granted, but arrangements were on foot by which travel would be in two weeks 
as easy to Richmond as to Baltimore. He then started on the "underground railroad" in an open 
boat, sailing in a southwesterly direction down and across the Chesapeake bay, a distance of sev- 
enty-five miles, in a single dark night, landing early the next morning in Lancaster county, Virginia, 
and thence to Richmond by methods too various to be enumerated. At the Conference of 1862 he 
was sent to the Surry circuit ; in 1863, to the Prince George circuit ; in 1864-'65, to Smithfield ; in 
1866 '67, to Northampton, North Carolina ; 1868-69, to Gates ; 1870-71, to Hertford ; 1872 -'73- 



124 SKETCHES OF THE VIRGINIA CONFERENCE, 

'74-75, Dorchester, Maryland, making six years out of twenty on this charge. In 1876 he traveled 
the Pasquotank circuit. At the Conferences of 1877-78 he was appointed to the Middlesex circuit, 
He has had during his ministry over fifteen hundred conversions. He married, January 29, 1867, 
Miss Adona J. Briggs, only child of Dr. John E. Briggs, of Sussex county, Virginia, a lady of rare 
piety, intelligence and beauty, who still lives, with their four children, to cheer and adorn his home. 



Rev. William Edward Allen. 

IN Lower Southside Virginia and in the adjoining district in North Carolina, the name of Allen is 
as an ointment poured forth. His success in winning souls and building up the church has had 
its reward in the wide esteem in which he is held. He has the elements that furnish forth the best 
style of itinerant discretion, energy and consecration. He excels both in expounding and in con- 
ducting the business of the church. His face challenges confidence. The people love him. We 
have enjoyed the following sketch, made by request, and lay it before our readers : 

"I am the son of Thomas W. G. and Emeline Allen ; was born on the 30th of September, 1835, 
and, as tradition would have it, of pure English extract on both sides. But whether "the ancestral 
line was royal or not, has never in the slightest excited my curiosity nor disturbed my fears ; for 
indisputable evidence teaches me that personal merit and a life of usefulness do not necessarily 
flow down such a channel ; for my impression is that none of us can be elevated to genuine royalty 
but 'by the blood of the crucified One.' The first twenty years of my life was spent in my native 
town and the country adjacent. During a large part of this time my social surroundings gave me 
decided religious advantages, and brought me under powerful religious impressions. I cannot 
recollect the period in my history when my feelings and convictions did not constitute a strong cur 
rei^b that bore me in the direction of the Cross. The prayers, counsel and life of a consecrated 
mother added largely to the current of influences that led me to Jesus. Her precious memory, 
therefore, lingers still about me, sweeter than the odors emitted by the flowers of spring. Finally, 
under the preaching of the Bev. Thomas Crowder, I concluded fully to yield to the claims of 
the gospel, and, in my fourteenth year, found peace in believing. I did not, however, join the 
church until about three years after my conversion, owing to the fact that my father positively 
opposed my joining the church, as he was decidedly skeptical on the adaptation of religion to chil- 
dren, or the capacity of a child to understand and exercise saving faith, and consequently pre, 
nounced my conversion all excitement. My mother counseled and encouraged me to hold on, and 
occasionally would carry me to class with her, where I would receive the happiest and clearest re- 
assurances of the genuineness of my conversion. If I have ever done any good as a disciple or 
minister, I am more than willing that the great Dispenser should allow my mother to share the 
glory. After the death of my father (October, 1851,) I united with the Methodist Episcopal church, 
South, in Suffolk, Virginia. N°t long after I felt strongly impressed that it was my duty to pre- 



METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, SOUTH. 125 

pare for the special work of the ministry. I struggled, however, to stifle this conviction of duty, 
even after I had been to Randolph Macon College a short time and studied for .that avowed pur- 
pose. Like Jonah, I actually ran away from my associations, thinking that I might thereby get 
away from my convictions, and engaged in business in another State, but the providence of God 
followed me and upset all my plans. At last to Nineveh I must go, so in a spirit of penitence and 
prayer for pardon, I surrendered all to God, and was, in November, 1858, examined by the Rev. 
Jamas A. Riddick before the fourth Quarterly Conference of the Gates circuit, at Fletcher's chapel, 
and was licensed to preach. The ensuing year I traveled under the Presiding Elder, Rev. William 
H. Christian, who treated me with the tenderest care. I was sent to the Mecklenburg circuit, with 
Rev. B. C. Spiller, whose kind, gentle and Christian admonition has very much endeared him to me ; 
and should any of my younger brethren be placed under him, they will find in him a warm, loving 
and sympathizing friend. 

" I can never forget my first Sabbath in the ministry, especially my first appearance before an 
audience — an audience, too, for position and culture of the first type — at Old Zion church, in Meck- 
lenburg county. A spell of strange confusion came over me. My nerves would not obey the man 
date of my will to be quiet, my memory failed to serve me, and my sermon that I thougbt I had 
carefully studied and committed, stood in awkward transposition before me. I nevertheless pushed 
on through the subject, and, I suppose, from appearances, pushed the jagged ends of my would-be 
sermon through the tender sensibilities of the people, for a gentleman told me afterwards that I 
succeeded in making one point clear to the congregation, and that was a clearly defined failure. I 
sat down, buried my face in my hands, and felt as no words can express. I did not leave the old 
box pulpit until the congregation had left the grounds. I then arose to go to my evening appoint- 
ment, staggering under the weight of mortification. «As I rode on in the direction of El Bethel I 
felt deeply the meaning of the Savior's expression, ' I have trodden the wine-press alone.' I jour- 
neyed on, and was sad ; this crumb of comfort finally came to my heart, that no one who was pre- 
sent this morning will have the slightest disposition to go out this evening. In this I was disap 
pointed, for my failure in the morning had furnished a little commodity in which a certain class in 
almost every community trade, and they had gone on in advance to put it on the market ; but the 
Master overruled it for good, for as I rode up and was hitching my horse in the grove, old Bro. 
Robert "Walker, local preacher, not waiting for a formal introduction, came up to me, offered his 
hand and said, ' This, I suppose, is Bro. Allen.' ' It is,' said I. ' I came to tell you not to be dis- 
couraged.' I felt the warm current of his heart through his hand, and'while he talked with me my 
heart, like that of Cleopas of old, burned with hope again. I thanked God and took courage, and 
just at that critical period his counsel and encouragement blew the dying embers of itinerant hero 
ism into a living flame again. How I cherish his memory ! Like sweet aroma, it freights the atmos- 
phere of my spiritual life. I spent that night, almost as a matter of course, under his roof. That 
old Soldier of the Cross convinced me very clearly that an occasional battle, or defeat, or failure, 
must not be put down as evidence against a call to the ministry, and this position he backed by the 
inexorable logic of the history of the past, especially in the case of Jesus and of Paul. This inter- 
view fixed me in the purpose to press on, that has braced and buoyed me in the valley and under 
the shadows of an itinerant life. During this year Bro. Spiller and I labored together in pleasant 
cordial, Christian unanimity, and many were converted in several gracious revivals. At the fall ses- 
sion of 1859 I made application, and was received on trial in the Virginia Conference, and appointed 
{hat year to the Prince Edward circuit as junior, with the Rev. D. J. C. Slaughter, From my as.- 



126 SKETCHES OF TEE VIRGINIA CONFERENCE, 

sociation with Bro. Slaughter, I received decided benefit from quite another direction. Although 
his early advantages were not very superior, yet he possessed native ability as an effective preacher. 
He made the truth so warm and incisive that it melted the ice of indifference and went crashing 
through the closed doors and ponderous bars of infidelity, and minds that had resisted the learning 
and logic of years, quietly surrendered to the magic power of the simple truth in his hands. I 
heard him on one occasion preach thrillingly to a large and attentive audience, and then I said, what 
a man he would have been if he had been thoroughly educated ; and yet the second thought led 
me to conclude that, may-be, if the metal had been further tampered with, it might have changed 
its temper. He was a man of prayer, ' full of faith and the Holy Ghost.' This was the source of 
his power. He was a fine revivalist, but not a noisy preacher. His sermons were full of melting 
tenderness and moving power, and in exhortation the unction of the Holy One would come upon 
him. This year the church was revived, and a goodly number converted and added to the same. 
At the next Conference I was appointed as preacher in charge of Coalfiefd circuit for the year 1861. 
It made me feel sad to think that I had no counsellor to fall back on, as heretofore ; that I must 
breast the storm alone ; and the full force of the divine expression came upon me, ' It is not good 
for man to be alone,' so I began to cast about me for an assistant, and as the church at that period 
generally added about $300 to the preacher's salary as soon as he married, I concluded that it would 
pay better to marry than to remain single, consequently, on the 17th of April, 1861, I was married 
by the Rev. William J. Norfleet to Miss Pattie L. Gregory, of Edenton, North Carolina. By the 
Conference held in the fall of 1861 I was appointed to the Northampton circuit, North Carolina. 
"While on this circuit great domestic and bodily afflictions came upon me. My wife died quite sud- 
denly of congestive chill, and I soon after had a most malignant attack of diphtheria, the effects of 
which did not wear off in six months. My eight was so affected that I could not read ; I lost my 
voice so that I could not speak out of a whisper, and withal I suffered with partial paralysis of 
the feet. In this state of physical dilapidation I went to Conference in^he fall of 1862, and was 
appointed as assistant to Rev. J. J. Edwards, on the Bertie circuit. I soon, however, fully recov- 
ered my health, and as no preacher had been appointed that year to the Smithfield circuit, because 
it was occupied by the Federal troops, Bro. H. B. Cowles, my Presiding Elder, expressed to me the 
wish that I, if I was not afraid, would go down and take charge of the circuit. I consented to go, 
and was transferred to that charge in the early part of 1863. In the bounds of that circuit, either 
in charge or as assistant, I remained until the war was over. During my stay on this circuit, such 
was the confusion and poverty of the people, occasioned by the war, that I labored among them for 
almost nothing. The offering, though a poor one, was nevertheless a willing one. I claim no re- 
ward ; it was simply my duty. I worked in the week and preached on Sunday. Notwithstanding 
the agitation, sorrow and poverty that reigned throughout the land, the church was blessed with 
revivals, and many were happily converted. "While on this circuit I came to the deliberate conclu- 
sion the second time that it certainly ' was not good for man to be alone.' Consequently, as an 
evidence of this conviction, I was married December 23d, 1863, by Rev. James P. Jordan to Miss 
Nannie T. Holleman, of Isle of Wight. After the war I was appointed to the Gates circuit for the 
year 1865, and returned to the same charge the following year. I never spent two more pleasant 
and prosperous years in my life. For kindness, cordiality and general intelligence, the people of 
Gates, as far as I know, have never been excelled ; and religiously, I can say that a nobler type of 
Christian people I never saw. It is true, they did not pay their assessment, having just emerged 
from the war ; they possessed tlje disposition, but not the ability. The next appointment was to 



METS0D1ST IIPISOOPAL CfiUBCB, SOtJTH. 12? 

the Southampton circuit for 1867. I was seriously prevented this year from doing full and effective 
work by an attack of a disease, and such was the extent of the suffering, that I concluded that 
my work was done and my days were numbered. The Master, however, otherwise ordered it, for 
I recovered, and was ready for work the next year. I have felt ever since a strong desire to return 
to that circuit 'and finish up my work ; for the service rendered was not equal to the sympathy and 
support the people cheerfully gave me. The circuit was blessed with one revival at New Hope, 
whose power and depth equaled any I ever enjoyed. May the converts never forget it. In 1870 
I was appointed to Second street church, Portsmouth, Virginia. This year a revival of great power 
and extent came upon the church, and over fifty were converted and added thereto, and class-meet- 
ings greatly revived, which made this year a bright period in my itinerant life and religious expe 
rience. In 1871 I was sent back to the Smithfield circuit ; in 1872 was returned to the Second- 
street charge, Portsmouth, Virginia ; in 1873, I was sent in charge of the Surry- circuit, and re- 
mained on this charge for four consecutive years. The Lord blessed His Word at every church on 
the circuit ; and the cordial, Christian favor I received of the people all around the circuit, is a mat - 
ter of profoundest gratitude to God. I was married the third time while on this circuit by Dr. L. 
M. Lee to Miss Julia A. Briggs, March 24th, 1875. In 1877 I was appointed to the Isle of Wight 
circuit, which was a part of the old Smithfield circuit, that I had traveled, in all, five years, this 
making the sixth. I received the appointment with many fears, and chief among them was that I 
had worn out there, but the cordial reception the churches gave me was decidedly encouraging! 
There was a rally all around the circuit, and two churches especially enjoyed penticostal revivals. 
In 1878 the Conference sent me to South Norfolk circuit. The work this year was very laborious, 
owing to the fact that the circuit had no parsonage, and I was reduced to the necessity of living in 
Berkeley, about thirty miles from some of my appointments. Nevertheless, I had a pleasant and 
prosperous year, for the warm Christian courtesy of the people readily healed the fatigue and ex 
posure I underwent to serve them. We had this "year about 75 converts. This circuit possesses a 
noble band of church-working people, two local preachers, and for interest and industry in the Mas- 
ter's vineyard, can hardly be excelled. I found them an Aaron and Hur. 

" I have come down to the present year (1880), which finds me on the Chuckatuck circuit, in 
the early part of the Conference year. Nothing, therefore, of special interest has yet transpired." 



128 SKETCHES OF THE VIRGINIA CONFERENCE, 



Rev. James Carson Watson. 

THERE is an orderliness, ease and effectiveness about Mr. Watson. His mind moves with the oily- 
glide of lubricated machinery and the stroke of a steam piston. Nothing is left to haphaz 
ard. Matters of moment and matters of seeming smallness receive his attention. It was said of 
Dunning, the English Advocate, that he was not only a lawyer, but the law. Carson is system itself. 
He would have delighted the careful and prompt Wesley. His charges grow under his cultivation. 
He feeds the flock with choice food and guards them with watchfulness. He has worldly wisdom — 
wise as a serpent — and patience towards all men. There is marrow in his ministrations, winning 
courtesies in his social life, and the atmosphere of Christianity around him everywhere. He is emi- 
nently successful in his calling. 

He is the youngest child of Abraham and Ann Mary Watson, and was born in Winchester, 
Virginia, February 27, 1829. In his eleventh year, death deprived him of his father, and he was 
left to be trained and cared for by a devotedly pious mother, who had professed religion at the age 
of seventeen years, under the ministry of Rev. Jacob Gruber, and joined the Methodist Episcopal 
church, April 1, 1805, and who, at the time of her death, in April, 1868, was one of the oldest 
Methodists in the Valley of Virginia. 

The subject of this sketch professed faith in Christ in his native place, September 27, 1855, 
under the ministry of Rev. Thomas Sewell, of the Baltimore Conference, and three days after con- 
nected himself with the Methodist Episcopal Church. Very soon afterwards he was put in charge 
as leader of a large male class, and also manifested great interest in the Sunday-school cause. On 
the 5th of July, 1858, he and others withdrew from the Methodist Episcopal church, and on the 
24th of the same month organized a congregation of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, which 
was soon taken in charge by the Virginia Conference of that denomination. A church was soon 
erected on Braddock street, Winchester, in which many sons and daughters have been born to God. 
On the 9th of October, 1858, the Quarterly Conference (Rev. W. W. Bennett, Presiding Elder,) 
licensed him as an exhorter, and on the 19th of March, 1859, the same body (Rev. W. G. Cross 
Presiding Elder,) gave him authority as local preacher. Prom his boyhood he had been impressed 
that it was his duty to preach the gospel, and as soon as he gained his own consent to undertake 
the work, the way opened up before him. He made his first attempt at preaching in eleven days 
after he was licensed, and on the 20th of the following month (April) he was on his way to take 
charge of a vacant circuit (Springfield), in Hampshire county, (now in West Virginia), by direction 
of the Presiding Elder. Here he was kindly received and well taken care of until the Conference 
met at Lynchburg, where, on the 17th of November, 1859, he and a class of nineteen others were 
received on trial in the traveling connection. He was appointed to the Eluvanna circuit — being re- 
appointed to the same charge the following year. His subsequent appointments were as follows : 
In 1861 and 1862, Mecklenburg; 1863 and 1864, Randolph Macon; 1865-66-67, Amelia; 1868- 
'69-'70-'71, Lunenburg ; 1872, Lewiston ; 1873-74-75, Hertford, North Carolina ; 1876-77, Smith- 
field and Benn's ; 1878-'79-'80, Onancock. In each of these he had much to encourage him — . 
" seals to his ministry and souls for his hire." He was ordained deacon by Bishop Andrew, at Nor- 
folk, 1861, and Elder by Bishop Pierce, at Richmond, 1863. He has been twice married. 



METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, SOUTH. 129 



Rev. George Curtis Vanderslice. 

HE is the embodiment of sanctified grit. He knows no such word as fail. "Whatever his hand 
, finds to do, he does it with all his might. He would make grass grow in a desert. He is an 
inspiration to others to work. If he should walk around an old tumbled down church, and then 
look at the congregation, somebody would find heart to subscribe " a part of the lumber" for a new 
building at once. He seems as a sort of reserve corps for emergencies. He announces his message 
with authority — as an embassador. It it not in doubtful phrase. He does not allow the garlands 
around the bugle to muffle -its shrill note. His deliverences are not the dulcet pleasings of a lute. 
They are mighty to pull down the strongholds of Satan. Mr. Vanderslice is open, direct, almost 
brusque. Men believe in him. He holds high position in several noble orders and societies. They 
have honored him with signal marks of respect. 

He was born of pious Methodist parents on the 30th of July, 1836, in Eichmond, Va. His father, 
Samuel Vanderslice, was a merchant tailor of the firm of Turpin & Vanderslice, (1835-6) but removed 
to Lexington, Va., in November, 1844, to take charge of the clothing department of the Virginia 
Military Institute, which position he held until his death in November, 1874. 

His mother was Miss Emily T. Keesee. "When his father removed to Lexington, his greatest 
desire was that his children should have a good education, and he gave them every opportunity for 
securing it. George was the only son, and had every advantage afforded by the excellent schools 
of that place under such teachers as Davidson, Poates & Puller, and at the age of sixteen, en- 
tered Washington college, where he remained only ten months. 

He was converted to God at a meeting held at old Trinity church, March 6th, 1856, by Eev. E. 
P. Wilson. He soon took an active interest in the church and Sunday-school, never neglecting his 
duties as teacher, or a member of the young men's prayer and class meetings. Soon after uniting 
with the church, he was moved of God to take upon himself the office and work of the Christian 
ministry, but feeling that he was not qualified for this great and important work, either by educa 
tion or gifts, he concluded that he must be mistaken, and for several years while a dilligent student 
of the Bible, declined any office in the church or work, other than a Sunday-school teacher and an 
occasional leader of the prayer meetings held by the young men. The impression that it was his 
duty to preach the Gospel did not leave him, so he concluded that he would go to a new State, and 
that there among new associates who were strangers, he would lead the life of a quiet humble Chris- 
tian, so he went to Illinois in 1858. A few Sabbaths after reaching Bloomington, Illinois, he was 
made a teacher of a Bible class of adults ; here, he thought, . surely was a good field for Chris- 
tian work. The class soon doubled its numbers, and when he left in February, 1859, it had reached 
twenty-three members. But the impression that it was his duty to preach the Gospel did not leave 
him, so he determined that he would leave it all with God, and, returning to Lexington, he was 
licensed to preach at a Quarterly Conference held at Wesley chapel, on the Lexington circuit, by the 
Bev. George W. Langhorne, Presiding Elder, March 6th, 1859 ; he was sent as assistant to Bev. 
William Conner Blount, on Bedford circuit, where he had to preach seventeen times a month, and 
17 



lift SKtiTCtiElS OF ME VIRQMa CONFEREtidE, 

also pursue a course of study preparatory to entering the "Virginia Annual Conference. He had the 
satisfaction of receiving from his senior minister at the close of the year this assurance : " George-, 
you have done more than I could have asked of you.'' That assurance stimulated him to renewed 
effort. That year there had been two hundred and fifty conversions on the circuit ; several of the 
meetings the young preacher had to conduct in the absence of his senior on account of sickness in 
his family. 

In November, 1859, at a Conference held at Lynchburg, at which Bishop Early presided, he was 
regularly admitted on trial into the travelling connection, and was assigned as junior preacher on 
Amherst circuit with Rev. P. A. Peterson. There were then fifteen appointments on that large and 
laborious circuit ; there were good revivals on that field also, one of which the junior had to con- 
duct, as the senior was holding one elsewhere. 

Having thus served two years under older and experienced ministers, at the Conference held at 
Alexandria, he was sent as preacher in charge of Rappahannock circuit, and at Washington in that 
county, there was a most gracious and refreshing revival of religion, fruits of which are seen 
there to this day. There had been no revival there for years ; there was not a member to pray in 
public ; not a person that would raise a tune, nor to say a word of encouragement to the penitent ; 
b:it the minister labored on for four weeks, and during the time, persons that were converted, were 
called on to pray at once, and thus from the converts, assistants were raised up ; it was a glorious 
meeting, there were forty-nine conversions among the whites, and the leaven spread also among the 
colored people. 

Soon after this the war broke out, and hoping to do more good as an officer than in any other 
capacity he accepted the command of a company, but at the re-organization feeling that he could 
accomplish more good in preaching the gospel alone, he declined re-election, having never been ab- 
sent from the regiment. 

In July, 1862, he v as united in marriage to Miss Nannie Sue Pettit, of Amherst county, and at 
the next Conference was assigned to Elk Run circuit in Rockingham county, (now in the Baltimore 
Conference) ; this was a pleasant and profitable year, for the charge was blessed with revivals at sev 
eral appointments. The next field of labor was Batesville circuit, where he remained two years 
during which many souls were converted and added to the church, then two years were profitably 
spent on Scottsville circuit, and here near the close of the second year, one of the most gracious 
revivals broke out at "B. M.", resulting in eighty-five conversions and accessions to the church. The 
next charge was Charles City circuit (afterwards Henrico and Charles City, and now two circuits.) 
Here he remained four years, during which the church was greatly blessed, the membership more 
than doubled, and a new church built where there had never been preaching before, and " Buelah" 
will remain as a monument of his zeal and devotion. 

He was then appointed to Sidney chapel, a mission in the city of Richmond, which was about to 
be abandoned. During the four years, there were five or six revivals, and at the close of his ministry 
there, it was left as a self-sustaining charge; and to meet the demands of the growing charge " Park 
Place" was built. 

His next charge was the city of Manchester where the church was greatly increased and built 
up during his pastorate of four years. He was then, at the Conference of November, 1879, sent to 
Matthews circuit, where success has attended his ministry, and which is his present position. 



METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHUBGH, SOUTH. 131 



Rev. James William Connelly. 

I^HE presence of Mr. Connelly would arrest attention. It is the figure of a man who has supe- 
. rior physical development and mental power. He is stalwart, erect and strong. His mind has 
compass and force. He is a preacher of uncommon clearness of statement, breadth of thought, 
with composure, propriety and energy in delivery. He makes no noisy pretension of even having 
moderate gifts of speech. Hs, therefore, surprises all who hear him for the first time. He has 
served the church in the Conference since 1860 with success. He is a native of Brunswick. The 
home of his parents was the preachers' home. He joined the church in boyhood- He has a clas- 
sical education. He is now on the New Kent circuit. 



Rev. Adam Clarke Bledsoe. 

IT would puzzle any friend of Mr. Bledsoe to say what he lacks as a successful minister. He has 
a splendid presence — portly and graceful. His face beams with intellect and benignity. His 
vo'.ce is of rare compass and richness — -orchestral. Old Dr. Tom. Bond said that Maffitt could re- 
p )at the multiplication table with such a pathos that at twelve times twelve all would be in tears. 
Bledsoe has the tenderness of the Irish orator and a compass that Maffitt never had. The swell and 
roll of Bledsoe's voice would carry a wave of melodious words to the verge of ten thousand hearers. 
Though he speaks, always from meagre notes, often without a line, he never loses command of 
his voice nor hesitates for a word. It is hardly worth while to say that every seat is filled in his 
church. He is at his best in revival services. His off-hand exhortations are tremendous. He will 
lead in a solo (and he is almost unrivalled as a singer) and the verses become a sermon of song — a 
musical oration, well-nigh resistless. He has the directness and the aptness of illustration of Moody 
and the wizard tongue of Sankey. Great success attends his ministry. There is nothing of petty 
selfishness in Bledsoe. He is broad, genial and transparent. He has high, pure aims. His flocks 
are devoted to him. His popularity as a preacher is equalled by that of a pastor. Surely he ought 
to succeed to the Episcopal chair of " Uncle Hubbard " Kavanaugh. 

Mr. Bledsoe was born in the county of Buckingham, Virginia, on the 12th day of February, 
1839. His parents were pious Methodists, who carefully brought him up in the fear of God, and 
in the love of their church. In infancy they dedicated him to God in baptism, Bev. Anthony Dib- 
re.ll, of honored memory, performing the ceremony. His childhood and youth were spent in Fhv 



132 SKETCHES OF TEE VIRGINIA CONFERENCE, 

vanna county, where his parents lived and worshipped God for years, and where a house of worship 
was erected and called by his father's name — a monument to his memory. His mother was a woman 
of fervent piety, and her son owes his early devotion to the cause of Christ, and his success as a 
minister of the gospel, in a great measure, to the early training and the prayers of that sainted 
mother. 

"While a' student at Emory and Henry College, in 1858, Mr. Bledsoe was soundly converted 
during a great revival at that institution, in which over seventy five students professed religion. 
Soon after his conversion he was appointed leader of a class of young men, which position he held 
as long as he remained at College. In the year 1860 Mr. Bledsoe graduated with high distinction, 
having been a very successful student, always standing high in his classes, and bearing off some of 
the first honors of the institution. 

When Mr. Bledsoe gave his heart to God and became connected with His Church, it was a step 
taken for life, never to be retraced. To serve God was to be his chief business. His religion was 
of a deep and fervent character. It made him happy and led him to active service in the cause he 
had espoused. He soon felt the drawings of the Holy Spirit leading him to proclaim the gospel, 
and in October of the same year of his graduation he was licensed to preach. One year from that 
time, in 1861, he resolved to make it his life work to preach Jesus and Him crucified (whom he loved 
with unusual ardor) as the great Healer, to his suffering and dying fellow men. It is a little re- 
markable, in connection with this family of four brothers, that two of them are physicians for the 
body, and two physicians to the soul. 

Mr. Bledsoe's first appointment was to the Albemarle circuit as junior preacher under Rev. J. 
L. Clark. His labors in this field lasted only two months. A vacancy occurring at Harrisonburg, 
Virginia, he was appointed to that place, where he remained two years. In November, 1863, the 
country having become involved in war, he was appointed chaplain to the Confederate army, and 
was assigned to the 1 5th Virginia cavalry. This position he held until the close of the war. 

Being left at the surrender without any pastoral charge, Mr. Bledsoe established a Classical 
Boarding School at Scottsville, Virginia. This school he kept up for two years with increasing suc- 
cess. In this position his sphere of usefulness was an important one, having numbers of young 
men committed to his charge, upon whose hearts and minds impressions for good were being made 
which many of them would carry with them through life. But his heart was set on the special 
business of preaching the gospel, and in November, 1868, by the advice of his friends, he gave up 
his school and applied for regular work. 

At this Conference Mr. Bledsoe was appointed to Louisa circuit, where he remained two years. 
During this period the circuit was wonderfully blessed with revivals. In 1870 he was sent to Pun- 
goteague circuit. Here he was so much afflicted with chills and fevers that he could only remain 
one year. In 1871 he was appointed to Central church, Portsmouth, Virginia, where he had a great 
revival, and left a fine reputation, not only with his own charge, but among the people of the 
cities by the sea. In 1872 Mr. Bledsoe was sent to Trinity church, in Bichmond, Virginia. In this 
charge he labored four years with great success. In the second and fourth years of his labors with 
that people the church was blessed in an unusual degree with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. 
More than three hundred souls professed to find peace in believing. In 1876 the subject of this 
sketch was appointed to Court street church, in Lynchburg, Virginia, where he remains now, in his 
fourth year. Here also his labors have been signally blessed by the Great Head of the Church. 
More than one hundred souls have professed saving faith in Christ. 



METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, SOUTH. 133 

Mr. Bledsoe's wonderful gift of voice, which enables him to lead the service of song with sur- 
passing sweetness and power, has been used by him to the glory of the Great Giver, and, by his 
blessing, has been a great power in the revivals which have everywhere attended his ministry. 



Rev. Edward Nathaniel Solomon Blogg. 

THE German accent still trips the English on Blogg's tongue, though he has been nearly thirty 
years away from the Fatherland. The sound of the brogue in a Conference room is the signal 
for hearty salutations from the brethren. They are fond of Blogg. A more unselfish, genial man 
answers not to his name in the body. He has been useful to the church in its German work in 
Richmond and Baltimore, preaching the gospel in his native tongue, and superintending the 
churches. 

He is a native of Hanover, Germany, and born on the 31st May, 1830. He travelled in Europe, 
especially in France, and speaks French, and perhaps other languages. He came to the United 
States in December, 1849, and proceeded to Norfolk, Virginia, and was employed in the "Daily Courier 
office." He used to visit different churches, but only to hear English speakers. He went to Balti- 
more on July 4th, 1851, remaining a year, and boarding at the house of two married sisters, godly 
women, members of Bond-Street Methodist church. Here he was first impressed with the neces- 
sity of a change of heart. He returned to Norfolk in 1852, and in August, under the ministry of 
Rev. John E. Edwards, D. D., he was converted and joined Granby-Street church. In 1859, he was 
licensed to exhort, and in 1860 as a local preacher. He joined the Virginia Conference at Alexan- 
dria, in the Fall of 1860. He was stationed in Norfolk during 1862-3, 4, inside of the Federal 
lines, and could not secure ordination as deacon until 1865. Bishop Early ordained him. Bishop 
Pierce put his hands on him as Elder in 1866. 

Mr. Blogg while in Norfolk, during the war, fell into the hands of Gen. Ben. Butler, and re- 
ceived ill-usage. He, however, was time to his political faith to the last, and served the church 
whenever he was allowed by the Federal officers. 

He was married in Norfolk in 1853, by Bishop Doggett, and has a family of children. He 
served as chaplain to Randolph Macon College in 1877-8. He is now on West Hanover circuit. 



134 SKETCHES OF THE VIRGINIA CONFERENCE, 



Rev. Robert Asbury Compton, A.M. 

THE likeness shows clear cut features, an intellectual cast, and pleasing expression. The face is 
the index to the mind. There a certain chiseled finish to the mental powers, and an agreeable 
outlook in the face. He commands respect, and invites companionship. Mr. Compton has had 
superior facilities for preparation for his calling. He has not neglected them. The polish that 
comes from diligence, and the ample resources gathered by investigation and study are his. He 
has risen by a steady, but firm advance. 

He was born in Granville county, North Carolina, May 21st, 1841. He was the- youngest son 
William and Luna M. Compton. His father, William Compton, was born in London, England ; 
leaving there when he was four years old, and coming to this country ; he was raised in Virginia. 
He was about forty years an itinerant minister, the last years of his life being spent in the State of 
North Carolina, where his younger children were born. 

The subject of this sketch being left an orphan at tender years, was educated under the super- 
vision of his eldest brother-in-law, Rev. P. W. Archer, late of the Virginia Conference, now of 
Texas. 

The last school attended by Mr. R. A. Compton, before entering Randolph Macon College, was 
taught by Rev. James H. Brent, in Roxboro, Person county, North Carolina, where Mr. Compton 
was converted in his sixteenth year. He soon became exercised about a call to the ministry, and 
when prepared entered Randolph Macon College, where he graduated with the degree of A. M. in 
June, 1862, and with three others of a class of five, entered the ministry at once, serving for a few 
months as helper on the Mecklenburg circuit before entering the Virginia Conference in November 
of that year. Since, then he has served the following charges : The Amelia, Brunswick and Lex 
ington circuits, one year each as helper ; the West Amherst circuit two years, as preacher in charge ; 
the Coalfield circuit, the Edenton station, the Murfreesboro station, one year each, the Liberty sta 
tion, three years, the Cambridge station, one year, the Smithfield and Benn's charge, two years, the 
Central station, Portsmouth, two years. 

There was more or less revival interest in all these charges, but the most successful were the 
years of 1871 in Liberty, and 1875 in Smithfield. 

The subject of this sketch is now in charge Lynn-Street station Danville, 

In 1873, in Liberty, he was married to Miss Mary J. Kasey. 



MtifiOMSf EPMdOPAL MmCB, tioVfA 185 



Rev. Joseph Benjamin Merritt. 

iT is seldom that modesty hurts a public man in the long run. A certain undervaluing of his 
own faculties has retarded Mr. Merritt. He has prime qualities of the head. If a certain force 
was put on him he would astonish himself, but not his best acquaintances. He passes for a capital 
companion and clever preacher, yet there is enough unworked ore to make up a great pulpit reputa 
tion. He has not " got his growth." He has served the appointments assigned him with fidelity, 
and to the reviving and increase of the church. 

He is the son of Daniel Tatum and Fannie E. Merritt, and was born near Black Walnut, Hali- 
fax county, Virginia, April 28th, 1841. He is on his father's side of Welsh descent, and on his 
mother's Scotch. His parents were pious members of the Methodist church long before his birth, 
and brought him up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. He was converted under the 
ministry of Eev. D. M. Wallace, and joined the church at Bold Spring, South of Dan circuit, in the 
year 1860 ; was licensed to preach April, 1862, by the Quarterly Conference of said circuit, joining 
the Virginia Conference at Petersburg, Virginia, November of the same year. He" was sent as 
helper to Charlotte circuit the succeeding Conference year. The next year he travelled Lunenburg 
circuit, with Kev. R. Michaels as senior preacher, Then two years on Brunswick circuit ; the first 
with Bev. L. S. Reed, and the second with Rev. R. Michaels again 

Three of these years were times of especial trial — the civil war was raging, and many a time 
has he dodged into the swamps and woods to save from capture his favorite horse, Florence. Pro- 
visions and clothing were scarce, and so were candles, as the following story will evidence : Only a 
few days after reaching his first charge, he spent the night with a parishioner. They sat until 
bedtime by a blazing fire. The host, (a good old Methodist of ninety years), said : " Well, brother, 
it is time to go to bed, we have had a great deal of sickness, and I do not reckon we have a half a 
dozen candles on the placa. I have lived a long time and learned many portions of Scripture by 
heart ; as the light is bad, I'll repeat a chapter, and you will pray." 

At the Conference of 1866 he was appointed to Patrick circuit, where he served two years. At 
the close of these years he was married to Miss Ella Lyon, daughter of Major Daniel Lyon of Pe- 
tersburg, Virginia, and went to Eastville circuit, remaining there two years. The church, especially 
the Sunday-schools, enjoyed great prosperity. Thence to West Amherst circuit, one year ; and two 
to Amherst circuit ; one year each to Smithfield, West Dinwiddie and Sussex ; two years at Con- 
quest and Guilford ; and at the close of these years to Second-Street, Portsmouth. 



136 SKETCHES OF TBE VIRGINIA CONFERENCE, 



w 



Rev. Wesley Childs Vaden. 

E. VADEN is the Fletcher of the Conference a devout man and a scholar. In arguments for 
Methodist doctrines, he chloroforms by Christian courtesy before removing the roots of error- 
He is a man of books. His sermons are the sifted and bolted products of choice, honest and care 
ful grinding. They will pass inspection. They are attractive and edifying. He has been a sue 
cessful college president, and a contributor to our literature. In social life he is honored for his 
acquirements and loved for a spotless Christian character. He is popular in the Church and Con 
ference. 

Wesley Childs Vaden was born in Chesterfield county, Va., on the 23rd day of April, 1841. He 
was baptized in infancy by Rev. John W. Childs, after whom he was named ; was converted and re- 
ceived into the church in the year 1854, under the ministry of Rev. Robert T. Nixon ; became fully 
impressed with his duty to preach in the year 1857 ; entered Randolph Macon College in 1858 
(Spring Term), and graduated with the degree of A. M. in the year 1861. In November following, 
he joined the Virginia Conference at its session in Norfolk, Bishop Andrew presiding. In the year 
1863, while stationed in Clarksville, Va., he was elected President of the Clarksville Female Insti- 
tute, and remained in charge of this flourishing school, until the session of the Virginia Conference 
in 1865, when he was appointed President of the Danville Female College, an Institution under the 
patronage of the Conference. Although he entered upon the discharge of his duties, in this new 
field, under difficulties well calculated to dishearten, (by many regarded as insurmountable) and 
under the immediate shadow of a then flourishing rival Institution, his efforts were so far crowned 
with success, that in 1867-8, two years after the commencement of his labors, he reported ninety- 
three matriculates, and eight professors and teachers, a number in excess of most institutions of like 
character in the State. The fall session of 1868, opened under even more favorable auspices, but 
his health had -failed; and having received, just at this time, an advantageous offer for his interest in 
the college, he resigned the Presidency of the institution. At the following session of the Confer 
ence (1868,) in accordance with a long cherished desire of going west, he received a transfer to the 
St. Louis Conference, but finding it impracticable to remove on account of the continued ill-health 
of his wife, he was re-transferred to the Virginia Conference, at its next session (1869), and has con- 
tinued in it ever since. Revivals, more or less extensive, have attended his labors in different fields ; 
and he has never served a charge from which a petition has not been sent for his return. He is in 
1880, pastor of Union Station, Richmond, Va. 



METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, SOUTH. 137 



Rev. Wilbur Fisk Robbins. 

HE is of an old Methodist family, and has quit himself of the ancestral devotion to the church 
with continued attachment to it and earnest zeal in its behalf. He has had success in liquidat- 
ing old church debts, building new houses of worship, and repairing others. The work has pros- 
pered under his hands. He served in the Confederate army as chaplain. He is a vigorous preacher, 
active pastor, and popular. 

Mr. Robbins was born and raised in the county of Accomac, Va., converted to God in his 
eighteenth year, under the ministry of Rev. James Brindle, of the Philadelphia Conference, at Down- 
ing's church, Atlantic circuit, and immediately connected himself with the Methodist Episcopal 
Church. Some of his ancestors were the first Methodists of the Eastern Shore of Virginia and 
Maryland. His mind was, in early childhood, imbued with the doctrines and usages of the Metho- 
dist Episcopal Church. Soon after his conversion, he was deeply impressed that it was his impera- 
tive duty to prepare for the ministry, but the magnitude of the task, and his incompetency for such 
an important work, caused him to turn his attention to another pursuit, hoping that in time these 
convictions would cease. His soul, once filled with peace, now seemed but an aching void ; for more 
than three years he remained in a state of spiritual distress. Finally at the solicitation of the Rev. 
John P. Chaplin, and the members of Downing's church, he consented to receive license from the 
Quarterly Conference of Atlantic circuit. He immediately set about " redeeming the time" by at- 
tending an excellent school, conducted by the late George H. Reden, of Maryland. 

In 1861, the Quarterly Conference of Atlantic circuit requested the Philadelphia Conference to 
leave that charge unsupplied, (owing to the agitation of the slavery question,) when George W. 
Matthews and W. F. Robbins were called, by the circuit, as pastors. The following October, a large 
majority of that membership agreed to be transferred with their church property (eight churches 
and a parsonage) to the Virginia Annual Conference. Mr. Robbins was recommended as a suitable 
person for the travelling connection in the Virginia Conference, Methodist Episcopal Church, South, 
which met in Norfolk the following November. They also entrusted him with the necessary papers 
to effect the transfer of membership and church property, through Dr. L. M. Lee. At the Confer- 
ence of 1861, Mr. Robbins declined to become a member, though urged to do so by several influen- 
tial members of that body, but consented to take work under the Presiding Elder, the Rev. J. D. 
Coulling, and was appointed to Gloucester circuit, as assistant to Rev. John B. Dey. In November 
1862, he was recommended by the Quarterly Conference of Gloucester circuit, for admission in the 
Annual Conference held in Petersburg the same month. He was appointed at that Conference to 
Albemarle circuit, and reappointed in the following year. In 1864 he accepted the chaplainship of the 
56th Virginia Regiment, and continued in that relation until the surrender of the army under General 
Lee. He was ordained deacon by Bishop Early in Lynchburg, November, 1864, and ordained Elder 
by Bishop Pierce in Norfolk, November, 1866. In May, 1865, he was sent by Bishop Early to take 
charge of Culpeper circuit, reappointed to that circuit in November, 1865, and in November, 1866. 
The following March he was married to Miss Bettie T. Hume, of Orange county, Va. In the summer of 
18 



138 SKETCHES OF THE VIRGINIA CONFERENCE, 

1867, he was stricken down with typhoid fever, which rendered him unfit for the itinerant work; 
in the following November he asked for, and obtained a supernumerary relation. 

In 1869 and 1870, he was appointed to Bappahannock circuit ; 1871 and 1872, to the Batesville 
circuit; 1873, to Dinwiddie circuit; 1874,1875 and 1876, to Berkeley station ; 1877-'78-'79-'80, 
to West Amherst circuit. 



Rev. Thomas Parker Wise. 

rpHE leadings of Providence are sure but often seemingly circuitous. The story of the early life 
JL of Mr. Wise has a. sad page, but the next leaf is luminous with Christian heroism, and running 
through all is the golden strand of Divine guidance. God had a work for him to do, and right well 
has he performed it. The church has ground to give thanks for such a son in the Gospel. 

He is the son of Major and Margaret Wise, and was born in Northampton county, Va., October 
13th, 1833. During this year they moved to Norfolk county, Va., where his mother died when he 
was twelve years old, and his father when he was seventeen. In 1853, uneducated, without money 
and homeless, he returned to the Eastern Shore of Virginia, and made his home at his Uncle's, Ed 
ward T. Wise, in Accomac county. For two years he toiled at manual labour, and made money 
enough to dress respectably. During the winter of 1855, he entered as clerk, the store of that 
good man and local preacher, M. Oldham, with whom he remained two years. In November, 1856, 
while attending a series of night meetings near Pungoteague, conducted by Bev. M. Oldham, he 
experienced spiritual regeneration of the most satisfactory character ; the only visible fruit of the 
protracted effort. He was immediately put to work — praying in public, leading class, &c. January 
17th, 1857, he rode down the Peninsula to cross the Bay the Monday following to Norfolk, and 
from there to New York, and thence to California. But fortunately, and providentially, as he thinks, 
the great snow storm of that winter detained him at a pious old relative's in Northampton, more 
than two weeks. He visited his sister in Norfolk county, in February, and left for Baltimore to seek 
a situation as salesman in a mercantile house. While there, a gentleman painted the " far west" so 
advantageously to a young man that he determined to seek his fortune there. After travelling three 
days and nights, he arrived in Davenport, Iowa. The small sum of money with which he started to 
go to California was now unpleasantly less ; and after spending a few days at a hotel, he found that 
he must do something to replenish. Having during boyhood learned a little of the business of a 
chair painter, he sought employment at a house painter's shop ; with whom he received work. Not 
until reduced to this painful condition, did his native energies awake.- Disgusted with ladders, oil, 
and lead, and still more with the coarse and wicked society with which he was necessarily thrown^ 



METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, SOUTH. 13d 

and especially during leisure hours, he determined to become better educated. So he went to a 
book store and bought a Smith's Grammar and Davies' Arithmetic. At night, while his fellow work- 
men smoked and joked around the stove in cold weather, and in the cool places when it was warm, 
he remained in his room, learning what he ought to have known when twelve years old. So much 
for incompetent, unconscientious old-field-school-teachers. All this while his religion was his life. 
"While on his knees in his room one evening, a gentleman rapped at his door. He had come to em- 
ploy him as assistant in his book and music store. Here he remained but a short time for the rea 
sons following : A river man came in and bought of Mr. "Wise a pack of cards. After he left, such 
thoughts as these troubled him : "Who can estimate the moral effect of those pieces of painted paper 
upon the man who bought them and others ? Gambling in that young town, the population of 
which was largely composed of wicked adventurers, was then -the usual pastime, and cards were in 
demand. He resolved never to sell another pack, and to quit the house where they were sold. "When 
his purpose and reason were made known to his employer, he remarked with warmth : " You are 
unfortunately constituted." But it was the crisis point in Mr. "Wise's life ; and he remembers with 
pleasure the firm step he took. From there he went down the Mississippi river to St. Louis, where 
homesickness overtook him, and the intense language of his heart was, carry me back to old Vir 
ginia's shore. So he bought a through ticket, and was soon again at his sister's, in Norfolk county, 
Va. He taught school three months in Currituck county, N. C, and four sessions in Accomac. 
"What money he made teaching, he expended upon himself in learning at Margaret Academy, in that 
county. He was licensed to preach, January 11th, 1862. November following, he crossed the Ches- 
apeake Bay at night in a small open boat, with two men who were running the blockade with con- 
traband goods, and had on board a sack of salt and a barrel of whiskey. Notwithstanding all, he 
reached Petersburg on time, the place where the Yirgfnia Conference was then in session. In 1863, 
he was employed by Bev. P. A. Peterson, Presiding Elder of Lynchburg district, on Amherst cir- 
cuit. At the next session of the Conference, he was admitted on trial, and was sent with Bev A. 
Boone to the Peninsula, below Bichmond, but in August was compelled by the advance of the 
Union army to leave the work. ' He assisted Bev. A. Wiles on Campbell circuit until Conference, 
when he was returned with him to that field. He labored as pastor with gratifying success on New 
Kent, Powhatan, Henry, Norfolk, Indian Bidge and Isle of Wight circuits. He is now on the last- 
named charge. 



140 SKETCHES OF THE VIRGINIA CONFERENCE, 



Rev. William Emory Edwards, A. M. 

THE likeness of Rev. William E. Edwards in the group of pictures on a near page will arrest the 
eye of the reader. It is true to the life ; complexion fair, with a tinge of pallor ; eyes blue, hair 
very light. His movements are quick, without being nervous and restless. His frame is rather 
slender ; his stature a little under medium height. There ar*e evident marks of the absence of firm 
and robust health, and yet he performs his regular work as pastor and preacher without exhaustion. 
There is toughness in the fiber. He possesses wonderful vitality. He would be recognized wherever 
his father is known, as a son of the Rev. John E. Edwards, D. D., to whom he bears a striking re- 
semblance. With less breadth of chest, and a more prominent nose, he is a sort of fac simile, in 
mould and feature, of his father. His mother was a Miss Clark, of Prince Edward county, Va., in 
which county he was born, June 10th, 1842. His elementary and early education was obtained in 
Richmond, Norfolk, Petersburg and Lynchburg ; these being the cities in which his father was sta- 
tioned during his boyhood. He professed conversion when a little more than fourteen years of age, 
in 1856, during a revival in Centenary church, Richmond, Va., under the ministry of his own father. 
From a meagre memorandum from his pen, we take out this line. He says : " The impression 
which had followed me from childhood, that I must preach the gospel was deepened from the moment 
of my conversion, and fixed my determination to enter the ministry." 

He entered Randolph Macon College in 1858, and after pursuing his studies under the disad- 
vantages of frequent interruptions occasioned by protracted attacks of disease he graduated in June, 
1862. The following November he joined the Virginia Annual Conference, at its session in Peters- 
burg. It was during the war, and he received a merely nominal appointment. Soon thereafter, he 
applied for and received a chaplaincy in the Confederate army, under a commission, in the summer 
of 1863, and was appointed as post chaplain at Drewry's Bluff, which position he held to the close 
of the war. 

At the termination of hostilities, he was called, in the summer of 1865, to take the pastoral over- 
sight of all that remained of the old Dinwiddie Street charge, in Portsmouth, Va. He found the 
church edifice in ashes, the congregation scattered, the membership disbanded, and the church 
register in the custody of a preacher of the Methodist Episcopal Church (North.) By dint of effort 
he succeeded in rallying a few of the disheartened, not to say demoralized, old Methodists, and en- 
rolled their names, and thus secured the nucleus of a church organization. Through the kindness 
and Christian courtesy of the authorities he obtained the use of what was then known as the second 
Presbyterian church as a place of worship. By the close of the Conference year, the station was 
put upon a footing to receive a regular pastor. 

At the Conference of 1865, Mr. Edwards was appointed to the Manchester station, where he 
remained two years, gaining a .strong hold on the affections of his people, and rendering valuable 
service to the church. He was then appointed for 1867-68 to Charlottesville. In 1869, he was in 
Parmville, and then two years at Centenary, Lynchburg, where his labors were crowned with suc- 
cess. At the Conference of 1872, he was appointed to the Granby Street charge, Norfolk, Va. Here 



METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, SOUTH. 141 

he remained for four years, intrenching himself in the love and esteem of his charge, and leaving it 
in a prosperous condition. From Granby Street, he was sent to Monumental church, in Portsmouth, 
Va., where he is now closing the fourth year of his pastorate. His labors have been eminently 
blessed in this charge. A revival of almost unparalleled interest occurred in 1879, in which a hun 
dred souls were converted in the brief space of ten or twelve days. 

Eev. William E. Edwards is a student. He uses his pen much, not only in the preparation of 
his sermons, but also for the press. His discourses give proof of careful and wide investigation. 
His matter is well winnowed and set on paper in order and at length, and yet he never uses notes 
or manuscript in the pulpit. He possesses a philosophical cast of mind. His discussions, however, 
are never dry and prosy. His imagination is a strong faculty in his mental endowments. Passages 
of rare beauty and impassioned eloquence, ornament and corruscate in his discourses. Withal he 
is modest almost to diffidence, shrinking from any display of his " shining arms.'' As a pastor 
he is diligent, and wins the respect and affection of his flock. With each year there is an added 
ring to the circle of his growth in culture, and a steady progress and development in all the elements 
that crown the man of mark. If his slender frame does not yield to the pressure of mental exer- 
tions and the tax of pastoral service, a future charged with enduring usefulness to the church, and 
of honor to himself lies ahead. He was ordained deacon in Lynchburg, Va., by Bishop Early in 
1864 ; and Elder by Bishop Pierce, at Norfolk, in 1866. He has been twice married, and has the 
usual heritage of a Methodist preacher — a houseful of children. 



Rev. Thomas Moore Beckham. 

11HE perfume of his piety and the memory of his religious instruction linger and bless many 
hearts in Virginia. The aims and tone of his life tells at once and always that he has been 
with Jesus. He cares nothing for a place in the garish light of popular applause. To seek and 
save those out of the way, the poor and cast down, fills the measure of his holy ambition. Where he 
goes faded piety revives, the dying interest in religious progress kindles. Men who have strayed, 
return and rejoice. The worn out circuit is sown down with faithful work and the precious seed. 
It is reclaimed, and blooms. Churches grow new and young : God crowns his labors with abund- 
ant yield. He is the Nehemiah and the Ezra — the builder and preacher. It is a benediction to 
consort with such an one. 

He is supplied with admirable gifts for the pulpit, and facility with the pen. 

He was born in Lexington, Davidson county, North Carolina, March 21st, 1835. He was the 
eldest child of John Grigsby Beckham, of Culpeper county, Virginia, and Mary Campbell Moore, 
daughter of Dr. Eobert Moore, of Statesville, Iredell county, North Carolina. His parents returned 
to Virginia when he was but a few months old, and the greater part of his youth and boyhood was 



142 SKETCBES OF !TBE VIRGINIA CONFERENCE, 

spent in Warrenton, Fauquier county, Virginia. He feels more indebted to that sainted man of 
diamond character, Eichard M. Smith, former Principal of Warren Green Academy, than to any 
other man. 

His example and commendation has often cheered and encouraged him when the battle of life 
went hard against him. He was some years in this academy, and bears grateful remembrance of 
the courteous and gentlemanly bearing of the tutor — our Christian Chesterfield — Rev. John D. 
Blackwell, A. M., D. D. He subsequently spent several years at Randolph Macon College, and 
graduated in several of the schools. It was during the presidency of Rev. William A. Smith, D. D., 
and while Professors Wills, Carr, Puryear, Massie and Shepard were there. 

He joined the Virginia Conference in 1863, having travelled the Prince Edward circuit as col 
league of Rev. William C. Blount. In 1864 he labored on the same circuit with Rev. Jacob 
Manning as preacher in charge. He was put in charge of the Elk Run circuit, Rockingham county, 
Virginia, and spent the years 1865 and 1866 on that field. During 1867 and 1868 he served 
Green circuit; in 1869 and 1870, King and Queen circuit; 1871 and 1872, on Burkeville circuit; 
and the four following years, to the close of 1876, on Mecklenburg circuit. Next, on a newly formed 
circuit, Cartersville, in Cumberland and Powhatan, the years 1877 and 1878 were spent. His 
present field of labor (1879) is on Lunenburg circuit. Revivals have been of very great power 
on some fields — especially in Prince Edward, Rockingham, and Mecklenburg. Between seven hun- 
dred and a thousand souls have professed faith in Christ under his ministry. His special work has 
been to seek out the poor and obscure, as well as others, and to pray with them, and encourage 
them to get nearer to Christ ; and his joy and crown is, that there is much testimony that he has 
aided some to grow in grace, and to read their titles with a stronger and clearer vision of faith. 

On March 21st, 1866, he was united in marriage in Broad Street church, Richmond, Virginia, 
by Rev. James A. Duncan, D. D., with Lucy Elizabeth Royall, daughter of Dr. Samuel H. Royall, 
deceased, of Oak Hill, Chesterfield county, Virginia. 



Rev. Francis Marion Edwards. 

MR. EDWARDS is fortunate in a superior physique. The image of his features, on a near page, 
gives evidence of high intellectual endowments. He has a fine head. And, better than these 
gifts, is the grace that grows in his heart, guides his life, and glows in his ministrations. He has 
followed Jesus with no little loss of the things of this world, but the service has been a full conse- 
cration. The advantage of scholastic cultivation and years of research have enabled him to bring 
to the pulpit ample and valuable material. His sermons are eminently instructive and not defec- 
tive in a forceful delivery. The people hear to edification and are moved. They are built up in the 
faith. His life is one of deep personal religion and a sense of his duty and calling. He works 
towards a high mark. He never counts the cost when conscience leads. 



METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, SOUTH 143 

He was born at Walnut Hill, in King George county, Virginia, on the 31st day of March, 1326. 
His parents, John A. and Elizabeth Edwards, were members of the Baptist denomination. They 
were regular attendants at their own church, but when appointments did not conflict, frequently 
embraced the opportunity to hear' Methodist preaching. Maternal care early impressed the subject 
of this sketch with the cardinal doctrines of Christianity, so that he can not call to mind the time 
when he was not deeply sensible of human responsibility. Though losing his mother when he was 
about nine years old, he never forgot her godly training. He was accustomed to read the Scrip- 
tures and to engage in secret prayer at a very early age, though he did not make a public profession 
of religion until he had reached manhood. Two peculiarities were prominent in his boyhood — ex- 
treme particularity as to telling the truth, and an ardent desire for knowledge. Scholastic advan 
tages, more than those afforded in a common country school, were, however, not his, until, by six 
years' service in a store, he had gained sufficient funds to place himself at a classical academy in 
Baltimore, taught by Bev. John H. Dashiel. He had the advantage while attending this school of 
boarding in the family of his brother, Bev. William B. Edwards, then pastor of the Charles-street 
church. Leaving this school, and (as he. thought for sufficient reasons) abandoning his original 
purpose of going to Dickinson College, he engaged' at once in teaching, resolved to prosecute his 
studies with perseverance. This he did first in Northumberland county ; then in Lancaster, until, 
in the year 1853, having moved to Fauquier county, he established Piedmont Academy, a boarding 
school for young gentlemen. In December, 1853, he was married to Miss Fanny L. Bland, daughter 
of Theodrick Bland, Esq., of Edenton, North Carolina. After many secret conflicts as to duty in 
the matter of church work, he finally resolved to allow his name to be proposed in the Quarterly 
Conference of Loudon circuit, Baltimore Conference, for license to preach. Beceiving license, he 
engaged heartily in the work of a local preacher while attending to his onerous duties as the head 
of a flourishing classical school. He was ordained to deacon's orders in due course by Bishop 
Simpson in Winchester, Virginia. Soon after his ordination the excitement in reference to the 
union of the Baltimore Conference with the Church South became absorbing. Mr. Edwards took 
decided ground in favor of fulfilling the pledge of " going South." By tongue and pen he advo 
cated this, because it was right, as he thought. 

The Academy at Piedmont enjoyed a high degree of prosperity for a number of years, until, in 
1860, it was thought best to move it to Lexington, Virginia. There, under the management of Mr. 
Edwards, the Lexington High School was organized with very favorable prospects, but the breaking 
out of the war put a stop to its exercises. Bemoving to Lynchburg, Mr. Edwards was employed 
in teaching and preaching. By appointment of the Presiding Elder, he had charge of Centenary 
church, during the absence of the regular pastor, for a good part of the year 1862. In the fall of 
1863, upon application, he was admited into the traveling connection in the Virginia Conference, 
ordained Elder, and was appointed as junior preacher to Centenary church ; afterwards as city mis- 
sionary, with the tacit understanding on the part of the appointing power that the church would 
not be looked to for pecuniary support while the war continued. Hence, while preaching regularly 
and distributing religious literature in the hospitals, and frequently visiting the army as a member 
of the Ambulance Committee from Lynchburg, he made a living for his family during those 
troublous times by secular employment, mostly that of teaching. The war closing in 1865, he was 
engaged by certain wealthy gentlemen to teach a select school at a very remunerative salary, to be 
paid in gold or its equivalent, and this continued until the Conference of 1866, when he was ap ■ 



144 SKETCHES OF THE VIRGINIA CONFERENCE, 

pointed to Matthews circuit. On this circuit he remained four years, very great success attending 
his ministry, and a host of friends attesting their regret at his departure. In 1870 he was appointed 
to Farmville station, and in 1872 was made Presiding Elder of the Earmville district. In these 
charges his wonted zeal and energy were manifest. During one of his rounds on the district he 
preached forty three times in twenty four consecutive days, and had the satisfaction of witnessing 
numerous professions of religion. He was popular on the district. In 1876 he was appointed to 
Main-street station, Danville ; in 1877, to Albemarle circuit, where he is now serving the church. 
Entrance into the traveling connection was sought only after long meditation and prayer. Convic- 
tions of duty were controlling. Prom a human standpoint the sacrifice seemed great. Many friends 
thought it unwise to leave a large salary for a very small one, but after reaching the conclusion that 
duty required the step, that was sufficient to determine action. Offers of a lucrative position have 
since been declined. 



Rev. John Wesley Hilldrup. 

HILLDRTJP has faith in God and great grit. He would have pleased Cromwell, and been pro- 
moted in the army of the Ironsides. His heart is tender, but his jaws have a grip of resolu- 
tion about them. The champion of David's body guard that went down into a pit on a snowy day 
and killed a lion, had no truer courage than this stout Methodist Confederate. He, who looks on 
his face, sees a man as ready for duty as any in the Conference, aye more ! in the Commonwealth. 
He delivers the whole counsel of God. Men feel that he is in earnest. The wicked tremble. The 
church takes courage. The work of God is revived. Results follow his labors. H e is beloved and 
honored. 

He was born in the town of Port Royal, Caroline county, Virginia, June 30th, 1840, but was 
reared in the county of Spottsylvania, his parents having removed to the latter county, when he was 
but an infant of two years. Being religiously trained, he was a subject of deep convictions on re- 
ligious questions from his earliest recollections, and in the year, 1855, when only fifteen years old, 
he gave God his heart and joined the Methodist church. In 1857, he was licensed as an exhorter 
by the Quarterly Conference of Spottsylvania circuit, Rev. E. P. Wilson, Presiding Elder, and in 
1861, he was licensed to preach by the Quarterly Conference of King George circuit, Rev. W. H. 
"Wheelwright, Presiding Elder. 

In April, 1861, immediately after Virginia seceded from the Union, and cast in her destiny with 
the Southern Confederacy, he joined a company of volunteers from King George county, (company 
K) and was mustered into the service of the Confederate States army. This company was subse- 
quently attached to the 30th Virginia Regiment of volunteers. He served as a private during the 
entire war, surrendering with the "eight thousand braves" at Appomattox Courthouse. At the 



Melodist Episcopal chubcz, sou?&. 145 

battle of Sharpsburg, September 17th, 1862, he was badly wounded, during a charge in which the 
30th Virginia regiment took a conspicuous part. He was laid out to die by the surgeon of his regi- 
ment, and left in the hands of the enemy. After remaining in their hands for two weeks, he was 
paroled, and permitted to go home and stay until exchanged. His wound was thought to be mor 
tal by all the surgeons that saw him, the ball having entered his right side, and cut through the 
right lung. But the Lord had a work for him to do, and that impression bore him up all through 
his sufferings. He carries that ball to-day. He did what he could for the spiritual good of the 
soldiers of his company, by holding prayer and other meetings when opportunity offered. 

In 1866, he was recommended to the Annual Conference, by the Quarterly Conference of West- 
moreland circuit, which was in charge at that time of Eev. J. H. Davis, Eev. W. B. Bowzie, Pre- 
siding Elder, and that fall he was received on trial in the Virginia Conference at Norfolk, Bishop 
Pierce presiding. Prom that Conference he was sent to Slate Biver circuit for 1867. In 1868-9, 
he travelled Powhatan circuit; 1870-72, Campbell; 1873, Bedford Springs; 1874-5, Madison ; 1876-8, 
Bappahanriock. At present (1880) he is on Atlantic circuit, Eastern Shore district. 



Rev. Charles Edward Watts. 

LIKE the noted chimney of the old dame, Charles Watts is so straight that he leans the other 
way ! Not that he is particularly perpendicular, for a rifle ball in the spine has weakened him 
there. But he is erect in character. He would not stoop to conquer. The thought of suppressing 
truth, by look, silence or consent, is never entertained. He is as open as noonday. He presses his 
opinions on no on*, nor suppresses them. He served with gallantry and grievious wounds in the 
Confederate army. He prepared at the University of Virginia for the ministry. He is a man of 
reading and investigation. He builds his sermon not of drift wood, but of oak of the forest, felled 
by his own axe. 

He is the son of James Dillard Watts and Lucy Ann Simms, and was born in Albemarle county, 
Virginia, on the 25th of January, 1843. At two years old his parents moved to Amherst county, 
which was his home till the war commenced. After this, his home was in Albemarle again till he 
entered the ministry. 

He made a profession of religion in his nineteenth year, at a revival at Wesleyan church, on the 
Amherst circuit, under the management of Eev. P. A. Peterson, assisted by the late Eev. H. B. 
Cowles. 

He entered the Virginia Conference in November, 1866, having been a local preacher, with 

license from the Charlottesville Quarterly Conference, for some months. His first year as travelling 

preacher, was on the Orange circuit. His second on the Wicomico circuit, which then embraced the 

town of Sausbury. His third was on the Greensville circuit, to which he went as a married man 

19 



146 SKETCHES OF THE VIRGINIA CONFERENCE, 

and an elder. His fourth was on Westmoreland circuit, where he had a large area of country to 
ride over, and but little time for study. Consequently by his own request, as was the case when 
he moved before, he was sent to spend his fifth year on the Eastville circuit — a compact charge, 
taking two weeks to go round. Here he staid four years, and had better opportunity to study and 
learn how to preach, than ever before in his ministry, except the second year, when on the Wicomico 
circuit. At the close of his fourth year on this circuit, and his eighth in the Conference, he was 
sent to King and Queen, where he staid one year, and from which he went to Prince Edward, where 
he also remained a year, and then was assigned to King George, serving that circuit twelve months, 
after which he came to the Bedford Springs circuit, where he now is in his second year. 



Rev. Benjamin Franklin Tennille 

fl^HE tall, alert and lively Tennille, is a great favorite in the North Carolina section of the Con 
J_ ference, and in the adjoining district of Virginia. He has served this part of the work during 
his ministry, and he is much valued for efficient service and social qualities. He has a sort of dio- 
cese along the rivers in the Cyprus country, wielding a salutary influence, and building up Zion. He 
makes friends everywhere. At a session of a Conference, he comes in for a hearty welcome. There 
is humor in him, and a good stock of common sense. He. puts his views well. 

He is the son of James Dermot and Verlinda Tennille, and was born in Prince William county, 
Va., August 6th, 1837. His mother was the daughter of William Townshend, of Prince George 
county, Maryland. His grand-father, George Tennille, it is said, came to America with General 
La Fayette. His Father, under the old constitution of Virginia, in virtue of his office of magistrate, 
was graduated to the office of Sheriff of the county, which office he filled his regular term of years. 

Our Tennille was converted at a camp meeting, in Charles county, Maryland, in the eighteenth 
year of his age. He was immediately impressed with the thought, "you must preach the gospel." 
But, Jonah like, he fled from the face of the Lord — from State to State — and every where he stopped 
some one would invariably question him on the subject of preaching, and express it as their convic- 
tion, that he ought to preach. This gave him great trouble, for he felt it out of the question for 
one so totally unqualified to attempt such a work. At the close of a great revival in the winter of 
1857 and 1858, in Circleville, Ohio, where some two hundred souls were converted, he was appointed 
leader of a class of thirty-two young ladies and gentlemen. His first attempt to lead this class was 
a great trial. But what was harder still, the preacher, Bev. Cyrus Felton, sent for him to come to 
his office. When there, Brother Felton, after lecturing on preaching awhile, asked him if he did 
not think it his duty to preach. He answered, " I do feel it to be my duty, but feel utterly incapa- 
ble of performing the duty.'' He was exhorted and encouraged by Brother Felton, but left the office 
feeling sorely troubled. Being very bashful and diffident, he thought if he could only stand up and 



METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, SOUTH. 147 

face a congregation, he might possibly be able to say something in the way of preaching. So the 
next Sabbath he thought he would try an experiment to see how he would feel facing a congrega- 
tion. Instead of going from Sabbath- school out of the basement, and up through the front door, he 
went up the steps that led from the preacher's study to the steps of the pulpit, so that when he 
reached the top step, he was in full side-view of the congregation, who at a glance thought it was 
the preacher, but when he turned and faced the crowded house, the surprise depicted on the face of 
the people, so confused him — his face burned — his eyes seemed to close— he bolted for a seat down 
the aisle — struck his foot against the corner of the kneeling board at the chancel, and went floun- 
dering down to a seat, like a blind horse over a heap of rocks, amidst the unrestrained titter of the 
whole congregation. He gained his seat, and wiped the perspiration from his face, and the experi- 
ment eradicated all serious notion of preaching from his mind for some time. 

At the beginning of the war, he was in Norfolk, Va., and joined the Blues, the first military 
company that left the city in defence of the now " Lost Cause." He was soon discharged from ser- 
vice to assist in furnishing flour and meat to the army. Soon after, Norfolk was occupied by the 
Federal troops, he removed his membership from Cumberland Street church to James Street chapel, 
then under the pastoral care of Rev. J. C. Martin, where in the year, 1862, he was licensed to exhort. 
He left Norfolk with Eev. J. C. Martin to attend a protracted meeting in Princess Anne county, Va. 
From there they proceeded to Knott's Island, Currituck county, N. C. , to hold a meeting. There he was 
engaged to teach school, removed his membership to that place, and was soon recommended to the 
Quarterly Conference of that circuit (Princess Anne) for license to preach, which was granted, Octo- 
ber 3rd, 1863, (J. W. Wonnycott, pastor). He continued to teach and preach until the close of the 
war. He was then employed by the Presiding Elder, of Norfolk district, Eev. E. P. Wilson, to take 
charge of Norfolk circuit. While there, he had two extensive revivals, one at Jolliffs', and one at 
Deep Creek, resulting in nearly two hundred conversions. He also had a protracted meeting among 
the Indians on that circuit, and quite a number joined the church. At the close of that Conference 
yeai-, 1865, the Conference convened in Norfolk. He was employed by Presiding Elder, Rev. E. P. 
Wilson, to take charge of Second Street church in Portsmouth, Va. At the Conference of 1866, he 
was ordained local deacon, joined the Conference, and was sent to Berlin circuit, where he remained 
two years, and had good success in building up the church. The membership was doubled, and a 
good church built at Berlin, where the congregations had been worshipping in a school house. At 
the Conference of 1869, he was returned to Norfolk circuit. In 1870, sent to Meherrin circuit — re 
mained three years. At the Conference of 1871, he was ordained Elder. At the Conference of 1873, 
he. was assigned to Northampton circuit — remained three years. In 1876, sent to Camden, and in 
1877-'78-'79, returned to Meherrin, 



148 SKETCHES OF THE VIRGINIA CONFERENCE, 



Rev. William Gabriel Starr, D. D. 

Tl /TE. STARR is a man of genius, -with a rare conjunction of rare elements. He has the poetical 
JA_L faculty without dreaminess or eccentricity. He is master of an exquisite fancy, and all the 
while as matter-of fact as Babbage's Calculator. He is as energetic as a water-ram, and as soft in 
manners as the fur on a Maltese cat. He knows when the velvet glove ought to change to the 
mailed hand ; when to be as the willow, when as the oak. His common sense is as unerring as an 
instinct. His sermons are a marshalling of sturdy thoughts in strong array and in shining garb. 
He shuns triteness in treatment and tawdriness in ornament. The delivery is musical and pene- 
trating. Mr. Starr succeeds on the platform. His lectures are, like the Suez canal, a fructifying 
stream through a desert of dry facts, making arid numerals bloom, and statistics give out perfume ; 
the current widening often into broad and laughing lakes. He has mellow humor, and is not with- 
out nettling wit. His descriptive powers have'somewhat of the stroke of a great painter. His degree 
of Doctor of Divinity was conferred by the University of North Carolina. 

He is the son of Eev. William H. and Frances Starr, and was born in the county of Rappahan- 
nock, Virginia, September 26, 1840. His ancestors on both sides were English. His father was a 
member of the Virginia Conference fifty-one years — more than half a century. Under his ministry 
many thousands were converted to God. He died February 14, 1867, and sleeps in Hollywood 
Cemetery. The son was reared, of course, in the Methodist itinerancy. In his sixteenth year he 
gave his heart to God, and at the age of eighteen he closed his college career as a regular graduate 
of Randolph Macon College. In 1860 he connected himself with the Virginia Conference at its 
session in Alexandria, and was sent to Gloucester circuit as helper to Rev. J. B. Dey. Six weeks 
later he was ordered by his Presiding Elder to take charge of the church in Hampton, where his 
work was terminated by the outbreak of the late civil war. He then went South and entered the 
Confederate army. At the end of the war we find him filling the position of junior preacher on the 
Bedford circuit. In 1865 he re-connected himself with the Conference, in Danville, having been 
discontinued, at his own request, three years before, on account of feeble health. Subsequently, in 
the pastorate, he passed two years in Murfreesboro, North Carolina ; two years in Liberty, and 
three in Suffolk, Virginia. In 1873 he was elected President of the Wesleyan Female College, in 
Murfreesboro, and continued to hold that position until after the destruction of the building by 
fire, August 5th, 1877. At the Petersburg session of the Conference, in 1878, he was assigned to 
Broad-street church, in Richmond, and re-appointed in 1879. 

He has been a frequent contributor to the literary journals and magazines of the country since 
his sixteenth year, and has served the Church and the Masonic fraternity in numerous addresses, 
during the past seven years, and as a public lecturer. 

In 1870 he was united in marriage to Miss Lizzie A. Leigh, of Goucester county, Virginia, a 
graduate of the Wesleyan Female College — the daughter of a steward of the church, and a neica 
of two Methodist preachers, William and Joshua Leigh. 

During the summer of 1879 he crossed the Atlantic and spent four months in an extended tour 
in the British Isles and on the Continent. 



METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHUB.CH SOUTH, 149 



Rev. John Nicholas Jones. 

11HE diffident and discouraged boy preacher has grown into a minister of poise and position 
. Pew among us have a firmer and more complete command of their powers than Mr. Jones. He 
also knows what Israel ought to do. He leads toward sure and valuable achievement. He conducts 
church affairs with forethought and discretion. His discourses are replete with rich material and 
deftly woven. He is a man of elevated and courtly manners and pleasing address. 

He is the son of Thomas W. and Dorcas B. Jones, and was born in Fluvanna county, Virginia, 
May 15th, 1839. "When he was about four years old his parents removed with him to the State of 
Missouri, where they remained only four years, and, on account of ill health, returned to Virginia 
and settled in Amherst county, where the subject of this sketch was mainly reared and educated. 
His parents are Methodists and Christians. On the family altar in their house the fire has never 
had to be re-kindled since their marriage, but it has burned steadily all the time. They have reared 
six sons and two daughters, all of whom are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, 
and two are preachers. The subject of this sketch, who is the eldest of the eight, professed con- 
version during a revival conducted at New Hope church by the Rev. Joseph Spriggs, in the summer 
of 1855. He was then about sixteen years of age, and was at this time very much exercised upon 
the subject of a call to the work of the Christian ministry. It was not, however, until the fall of 
1866, that he determined to obey what he regarded a call to this important office and work. On 
making known his convictions at a Quarterly Conference, held for the Amherst circuit at Amherst 
Courthouse, of which he was a member, and which was presided over by the Rev. P. A. Peterson, 
a leader's meeting was held, by which he was recommended to the said Quarterly Conference as a 
suitable person to preach. On receiving this recommendation, the Quarterly Conference voted him 
license to preach, and, on application, also recommended him to the ensuing Annual Conference as 
a person prepared to enter the travelling connection. As the interval between this Quarterly Con- 
ference and the Annual Conference of that year was a very short one, he did not try to preach be- 
fore going to Norfolk (at which place the Annual Conference met that fall) with a view to being re- 
ceived on trial into the itinerant ministry. On the ground of his not having tried to preach up 
to this time, some of his friends thought it possible, and even probable, that his application would 
be rejected, and he did not feel quite sure of success himself. But, although it was a departure 
from the rule, the Conference received him. At this Conference (1866) what is now known as the 
West Charlotte circuit was cut off from the old Charlotte circuit, and John N. Jones was sent as 
the first preacher in charge of this new circuit. He returned from the Norfolk Conference to his 
father's, in Amherst county, and began by making arrangements to go to his field of labor, but, 
before starting, he was prevailed on by friends to preach his first sermon at Bethlehem church, near 
his father's, and of which the family were then members. A few days after this trial sermon, of 
which it is prudent to say nothing, he started to West Charlotte one of the coldest mornings we 
ever had in Virginia, and reached his circuit the third day out from home. As the circuit was a 
new one, he had no plan, and did not know the name of a single member. He felt that he was a 



150 SKETCHES OF TEE VIRGINIA CONFERENCE, 

stranger in a strange land. But these things did not give him much trouble, for he soon found his 
flock and knew them all by name, and as they had opportunity, they treated him kindly. The great 
trouble, however, with him was to supply the flock with suitable food. This he soon felt he was 
unable to do, and " Oft it gave him anxious thought." He placed such a low estimate upon his 
pulpit productions that he was ashamed of every effort, and, finally, after much prayer and many 
tears ; after earnestly pleading with God that He would make His will plainer concerning him, he 
came to the conclusion that God required no one to do what he was incapable of doing, and got on 
his horse and started home, and but for meeting with the Eev. J. D. Still, once a member of the 
Virginia Conference, who then resided in the bounds of the circuit, he would not have been dis 
suaded from his purpose. It is strange to record that Eev. Mr. Still, the only man in the circuit 
that young Jones dreaded to meet after his determination to go home, was the first man that he did 
meet, and that, although Mr. Jones, on meeting Mr. Still, did not intend to acquaint him with his 
intention of leaving the circuit, Mr. Still pressed him with so many questions that he was obliged 
to let out the secret. Mr. Still then assured him that many young preachers had felt the same un 
fitness for their work, and had, notwithstanding, became useful men, and that it was time enough 
for him to find fault with himself when the people found fault with him. Suffice it to say that the 
young preacher took heart again, and went earnestly to work, and, under the blessing of God, there 
was a gracious revival all around the circuit that year, by which he was encouraged still more to 
persevere. In November, 1867, Conference met in Petersburg, from which he was returned to West 
Charlotte, where he spent another year pleasantly and profitably. At Charlottesville, in November, 
1868, he was received into full connection with the Conference and ordained a deacon by Bishop 
W. M. Wightman. From this Conference he was sent as the first preacher in charge of the Gor 
donsville and Orange Courthouse station. These two churches had been cut off from the Orange 
circuit at this session of the Conference. In November, 1869, Conference met in Richmond, where 
he was ordained an elder by Bishop D. S. Doggett, and returned to Gordonsville and Orange Court- 
house. In this station there was a wide-spread revival during his pastorate, and a new and elegant 
church was commenced and nearly completed. The next year he was on the Nelson circuit, where 
there were some revivals. He remained on this circuit only one year ; then he was sent to the Cul- 
peper circuit. Here there were some gracious revivals of religion also, but his health became very 
bad, so that,, after serving this circuit only one year, he took a supernumerary relation for a year. 
This year he taught a school at the old Cove Academy, in Albemarle county. In November, 1873, 
he was again placed on the active list at the Conference in Norfolk, and sent in charge of the North 
Southampton circuit, which he served for three years. During this time there was very great im- 
provement in this circuit, and among other improvements there were built a parsonage and church 
in the town of Franklin. In November, 1876, he was sent to Second-street church, in Portsmouth. 
He served this charge two years and left the membership of the church from forty to fifty per cent, 
larger than he found it, and the finances very much improved. From the Conference at Petersburg, 
in November, 1878, he was sent to Liberty station, where he is now laboring. 



METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, SOUTH. 151 



Rev. Herbert Tyree Bacon. 

THE sight of Mr. Bacon is a sermon. He is on crutches — yet he heeds the command : Go, 
preach. A message from a cripple and an itinerant, must have a peculiar force. The gentle- 
ness of Jesus is in the face and every motion of the man, and the devotion of an Apostle is in his 
life. He is endeared to his people. His presence is a benediction. The signs of a man sent of 
God are with him. 

There is a sad note in his past life, while a theme for praise too. The story is told in tender, 
simple words : 

"I am one of the preachers of the Virginia Conference, whose experience is singular and sor« 
rowful. Most of them look back to an early consecration of life to Christ, and an early entrance 
into the ministry ; my retrospect is a misspent youth, an early manhood passed in sin. 

" I may say, I was driven to Christ, for it was not until my expectations of happiness from the 
world had perished, and God had seen fit in his amazing mercy to afflict me with a life-long lame- 
ness~that I gave my heart to Christ. My crutches should be a constant sermon both to myself and 
to others, that, God to save men, and to make them useful, has sometimes to lay his hand heavily 
upon them. 

" I was born in Nottoway county, near Burkeville, my father was James E. Bacon, a lawyer of 
that county, my mother was Miss Martha T. Gregory, of Mecklenburg. My grandfather was Col. 
Tyree Glenn Bacon, an officer in the war of 1812. 

" My mother died in my infancy, but my grandmother adopted me as her own, and to her do I 
owe my early impressions ; she was an excellent Presbyterian, and it was among the members of 
that church my early years were spent. They were excellent people, and often when in other scenes 
and among other associates, who were ungodly and wicked, the remembrance of their consistent 
lives, their high moral tone reproached me and threw around me a restraining influence. 

" In Nottoway, my academical advantages were very good, and I acquired an excellent English 
education, and a respectable acquaintance with Latin, with a slight knowledge of Greek. I taught 
school for awhile in an adjoining county, and added to what I had already learned. But it is the 
grief of my life that, had I been true to myself, I might have attended Bandolph Macon College, 
and fitted myself for greater usefulness. 

" My grandmother died when I was a boy in my seventeenth year, and I found a home in Char- 
lotte county ; there I went far astray, learned to swear, neglected church, 'stood in the way of sin- 
ners,' and provoked God so that he sent upon the lameness with which I now am afflicted. 

" I was very ill for a long time, and thought I was about to die, others thought so too, and I 
turned in my distress to Christ. He graciously heard me, and sent his Spirit ; it convicted me of 
my sins, humbled me, and I was almost persuaded to give up my sins ; but evil influence or irresolu 
tion kept me back, and like the dog, I returned to my vomit again. 

" For eleven years I was convicted of sin, knew all the time I was a sinner, but I was mad in 
sin and went on, though my wicked heart and wicked life were torments to me. Happiness, peaoe, 
fled from me, but I went on sin. 



152 SKETCHES OP THE VIRGINIA CONFERENCE, 

" I moved to Mecklenburg county, near Boydton, in the year 1858, when brother Joseph H. 
Eiddick was on that circuit. He held a protracted meeting in the summer at Centenary church j 
near what was then called Christiansville, but now Chase City, at which some of my acqaintances 
were converted, I had made an arrangement to spend the month of August in the mountains of 
Virginia, but determined I would go just one day to the meeting at Centenary. That day was Sun- 
day, the first day of August. I was almost hopeless at my frequent failures to be a Christian ; I 
had tried so often, was almost ready to give it up forever, but I reached the church that day, and 
found many old friends, warm in their first love, ready to pray for me, and I determined — 

" I can but perish if I go, 

I am resolved to try, # 
For, if I stay away, I know 

I must for ever die." 

" I shall never forget that day ; every incident is indellibly impressed on my memory. Brother 
J. C. Wills, now glorified, preached from the text, ' Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian ;' 
but I heard not a word of the sermon ; I was fighting the battle which was to result in the salvation 
of a sin-ruined soul. That was the day of my espousal to Christ. 

" Since that day my life has been happy ; all the more so, from the darkness and misery from 
which I was rescued. Truly can I say with David, ' He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, 
out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. And he hath put a 
new song into my mouth, even unto our God.' 

" I joined the Virginia Conference in 1865, in Danville, and was sent to Coalfield circuit, Ches- 
terfield county ; I was returned to the same circuit 1866. 

" I was sent to Charlotte circuit in 1867 and 1868. My health failing me, I was superannuated 
in 1869. 

" On my recovery I was stationed in Clarksville 1870, and continued there four years. I was 
sent to Nicholson-Street, Richmond, in 1874; in 1875, Williamsburg; in 1879, Murfreesboro, North 
Carolina." 

On the 1st day of August, 1871, the anniversary of his conversion, he was married to Miss 
Jennie Scott, of Clarksville, Virginia — a double blessing — the two greatest of his life came to him 
on that day. 



METHODIST EPISCOPAL CtitJROH, SOtJTE. 153 



Rev. Charles Edward Hobday. 

HOBDAY, as he terms it, is the last of the " old field class " that came into the Conference. The 
man, who fought through the war, was captured twice, in Port Deleware once, escaped once from 
his captors, wouldn't surrender at Appomattox — such an one is hardly fit for the gentle ways of a 
theological school, " sub tegmini fagi." The bronzed soldier couldn't don the gown of the divinity 
student. He went into the ministry, like the Southern men into the army, with more vim than drill. 
He has like them made his mark. The man who suffered the horrors of hunger and thirst (thirty- 
six hours without water) in prison, is not backward before the difficulties of the itinerancy. 

He was born March 1st, 1844, in Portsmouth, Virginia, and converted and joined Old Dinwid- 
die-Street church, under the ministry of Eev. Charles H. Davis. The parents of Mr. Hobday re- 
moved to Matthews county in December, 1856 ; he did not take a certificate of removal, and neglect- 
ing his church privileges, he went back to the world. In the army he was deeply convicted under 
the preaching of Eev. Mr. Davis, chaplain of the 6th Virginia Cavalry, while encamped near Ash- 
land in the winter of 1863-64. He, however, professed conversion the second time, during a pow- 
erful revival at old Providence, Matthews county, in September 1865, under the ministry of Bev. 
Joseph E. Martin, and at once entered the church, and was put to work. He felt his call to the 
ministry, yet resisted two years ; but yielding at last, he was licensed to preach, September 13th, 
1867, and was received on trial by the Virginia Conference the following November, and sent as 
helper to Bertie circuit, Bev. J. McMullan, preacher in charge ; in 1868 in charge of Northampton 
circuit. During this year gracious revivals blessed the circuit — one hundred and sixty nine conver- 
sions — one hundred and thirty-nine accessions to the church. In 1869, sent to Goochland circuit, 
remaining two years ; in 1871, sent to Caroline ; in 1872, to Indian Bidge, (now Currituck circuit) 
remaining two years ; in 1874, Chuckatuck ; and in 1878, to South Norfolk. 
20 



154 SKETCHES OF THE VIRGINIA CONFERENCE, 



Rev. William Amos Laughon. 

INTEGEITY of character, earnest desire to advance the cause of Christ, and faithful discharge 
of duty have marked the career of Mr. Laughon. In matters, secular or religious, there is no 
shirking. He served the Confederacy gallantly and well. He never falters in the ranks of the 
church. His public and private conduct wins and attaches friends. God blesses his labors. 

He is the son of John Wesley and Elizabeth Noell Laughon, and was born in Campbell county, 
Virginia, November 14th,_1837. He had many difficulties £o encounter. The death of his father, 
and humble circumstances of his widowed mother, with five small children, made it necessary for 
him to begin regular work in the ninth year of his age, and though quite a delicate boy — the neces- 
sity for his labor was such that only little time could be spared him to receive instruction in com- 
mon country schools. And when the war between the States began, he like many other true young 
men of the South, volunteered his services — and on the 30th of August, 1862, while engaged in the 
second battle of Mannassas he received a painful wound in his right thigh, which disabled him for 
further field service. But his desire being to serve his country as best as he could, he willingly 
took the place of a nurse in the hospital at the Montgomery White Sulphur Spruigs, Virginia, where 
he remained till the close of the war. On the 24th of October, 1864, at night, he attended a pro- 
tracted meeting near the hospital, conducted by the Eev. Mr. Flaherty, of the Baltimore Conference, 
and went to the altar, a convicted penitent, and professed conversion, but did not join any church 
until September, 1865, when he attached himself to the Methodist Protestant church, in the neighbor, 
hood where he was raised, and, by request, appointed to lead a class. October 7th, 1866, he was 
licensed to preach, and did it acceptably in his native county amongst his relatives and acquaint- 
, ances- about one year. On the 31st of December, 1867, he was married to Miss Sallie Elizabeth West, 
of Campbell county, Virginia. On the 13th of January, 1868, he went to Abingdon, Virginia, where 
Bev. George B. Barr, President of the Holston Conference Methodist Protestant church, employed 
him to travel Jonesville circuit, in Lee county, Virginia, where his labors were blessed. 

The following Conference in October, 1868, appointed him to Good Hope circuit, in Washing- 
ton county, Virginia, where he remained four years, and did a successful, satisfactory work. In 
1872 he was assigned to Abingdon station, where he had a pleasant charge, but a severe attack of 
bronchitis and general debility, caused him to give it up. Under the foreboding that he would never 
be able to do the work of an itinerant minister again, he thought it best to take his family to Mis- 
sissippi, and locate amongst their relatives, who had removed to that State. But soon after he had 
pleasantly located, his health improved so, that he felt it to be his duty to return to the work of an 
itinerant minister ; and believing there was no sufficient cause for the continuance of the Metho- 
dist Protestant church, especially in the Southern States, he joined the Methodist Episcopal Church, 
South, and was appointed by Bishop Keener to Pleasant Hill circuit, in the Southwest Missouri 
Conference, where he labored one year with with much success. But his wife's health became so 
delicate, that, under the advice of her attending physician, he asked to be transferred to the Virginia 
Conference, and it was granted. 

At the Conference in Danville, Virginia, November, 1875, he was appointed to Jackson circuit, 
where he labored, with considerable success, for four years. He is now serving the Goochland 
circuit. 



METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, SOUTH. 155 



Rev. Travis James Taylor. 

IF there is anything either in descent from a good ancestry, or in phrenological signs, Travis Tay- 
lor will not bring up the rear. His head gives outward evidence of a large and well-developed 
brain. The career of Mr. Taylor gives proof that there is a clever composition within the cranium. 
He has intellect, judgment, and religious thriftiness. There is nothing of narrowness about him. 
He devises large plans, and works up to them. There is somewhat of the breadth of the church 
statesman in him. Each year will find him stronger. He has success. 

He is the son of Robert Carter and Mary Evelyne Taylor, was born at Burwell's Bay, Isle of 
Wight county, Yirginia, on the 16th of May, 1845. His father, son of Travis Taylor, was born in 
Isle of "Wight county, Virginia. His mother, daughter of Rev. James D. Edwards, was born in 
Surry county, Virginia. On his mother's side six ministers have been furnished to Virginia Methodism. 

He was converted under the ministry of Rev. James W. Connelly, and joined the Methodist 
Episcopal Church, South, at Moring's, on the Surry circuit, October, 1866. He was appointed 
leader of a class in a few weeks after. On the 18th day of May, 1867, he received license from 
the hand of Rev. E. P. "Wilson, Presiding Elder, to exercise his gifts as an exhorter. November 
2d, 1867, he was licensed as a local preacher — and a few days after took a text, and tried to preach. 

When the Virginia Conference met in Petersburg, November, 1867, he was received on trial. 
In 1868 and 1869 he had charge of King William circuit. In 1870-'71-'72-'73, he served the 
Dinwiddie circuit. Here he was connected with the building of the Courthouse church edifice ; 
also, that at Smith's Grove. In 1874-'75-'76-'77, he had charge of Bedford Springs circuit — 
during which time new church buildings were placed at New London and Mount Hermon. In 
November, 1877, he was given charge of Appomattox circuit, where he now works. 

On the 18th day of May, 1870, he was married to Miss Eliza Campbell, daughter of Achilles 
and Elizabeth Campbell, of King William county, Virginia, to whom, under God, he is greatly 
indebted for the measure of success which has attended his labors. 



156 SKETCHES OF THE VIRGINIA CONFERENCE, 



Rev. Robert Augustus Armistead. 

THE best of Eoman virtues centre in this noble veteran. No truer man to his convictions is num- 
bered in the Conference. For years in the local ranks, he gave the church valuable service. He 
never flinched from duty. The imposing presence well tallies with the lofty and broad character of 
the man. His notion of Christian devotion is elevated. He is systematic, punctual and active. There 
is wisdom in his counsel. He labors for a pure, fervent and apostolic church. 

He is the son of Bobert and Elizabeth Armistead, and was born in Hampton, Elizabeth Uity 
county, Virginia, May 7th, 1808. 

On his father's side he is a German, and on his mother's, of English descent. His ancestors 
on" his father's side emigrated to this country between the years of 1630 and 1635, during the time 
that lord Effingham was governor of the colony, and settled in Elizabeth City county, Virginia. His 
parents being Episcopalians, he was in infancy baptized by one of its ministers, the Bev. Mr. Simms. 
When very young, before he could read, one of his sisters, being converted through the instrumen- 
tality of the Methodists, frequently on Sabbath mornings, read to him portions of the Sermon on the 
Mount, which made a deep and permanent impression upon him, and laid the foundation of his 
future moral life. He was educated in the Hampton Academy. On the 26th of October, 1826, he 
made a profession of religion, and on the evening of the same day, in a class meeting, joined the 
Methodist Episcopal church. Dr. Morrison was that year in charge of the old Williamsburg circuit, 
which extended from Bichmond to Hampton. In September, 1827, he was appointed class leader. 
On the 16th of October, 1835, when Moses Brock was Presiding Elder of the Bichmond district, he 
received license to preach as a local preacher. At the Conference, in Farmville, on 23rd February, 
1840, he was, by Bishop Waugh, ordained deacon, and the 19th November, 1843, at the Conference 
in Bichmond, Centenary church, he was ordained elder by the same presiding Bishop. He was an 
.active co-labourer with the ministers in the regular' work, both as a class leader and local preacher. 
In 1828, when the church in Hampton was almost destroyed by the famous division, he stood in 
the breach in defence, both of the ministry and the church. 

In the course of a few years, through his instrumentality, a neat brick edifice was erected to 
take the place of the one from which Episcopal Methodists had been excluded. He was indefatigable 
in his labours as a local preacher, being ready at all times to obey the call of duty. He commenced 
preaching at Bocketts, in May, 1866 ; a gracious revival followed, and many were added to the church, 
In 1867, he still continued to labour at Bocketts with beneficial results, in both church and Sabbath 
school. 

In Charlottesville, November, 1868, he was admitted on trial into the Virginia Conference, and 
placed in charge of the Bichmond city missionary work, where he remained two years, and, being, on 
Sabbaths, aided by two students from Bandolph Macon College, the three churches were served 
every Sabbath. 

In 1871, he was assigned to Norfolk circuit. He remained there two years, and the circuit was 
favored with a gracious revival, with many additions to the church., and great financial prosperity. 



METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, SOUTH. 157 

During the first year he was instrumental in building three churches. In 1873, he was stationed on 
Princess Anne circuit ; many were added to the church. In 1874, he was appointed to Lunenburg 
circuit ; in 1875, to Dinwiddie circuit ; in 1876-'77-'78, to West Hanover circuit, and in 1879, to 
Goochland circuit. 



v Rev. James Clayton Reed. 

HE was a gallant Confederate, leaving a hand on the field of Sharpsburg, torn off by a shell. Of 
the heroic little band, that succumbed to overwhelming numbers, Eeed was one. He entered 
the army in July of 1861. The mention of his career as a soldier hints of the fine qualities of his 
native fiber. It is not too much to say that even his great leader had not deeper reverence for the 
word — Duty. Whatever the Conference commits to the charge of Mr. Reed, all know it will have 
his faithful attention. He declares the whole counsel of God to the people. No man's blood will be 
upon his garments. Nothing is slurred over. Thrift in all departments follows his oversight and labor. 

He is the son of the Eev. L. S. Reed, of the Conference, lie was raised on the march and in 
the rank. North Carolina is his native State. He was born in Perquimans, on the 1st of November, 
1842. He professed religion when he was about twelve, but camp life vitiated his piety, and he be- 
came neglectful of his Christian duties. In 1866, he was reclaimed and revived during a meeting 
held by his brother-in-law, Rev. J. W. Blincoe, at South HilL Mecklenburg county, Va. 

He spent two sessions at Randolph Macon College, prior to the war, and a session and a half 
at the University of Virginia after the surrender. He says that he carried off no sheepskin, but a 
calfskin, having received the " boots" as the ugliest man in the University. He would hardly carry 
off such a prize in the Conference. 

He was licensed to preach, September 8th, 1868, by the Quarterly Conference, of Charlottes- 
ville station, and admitted on trial in November of the same year. He has served Nelson one year, 
Powhatan two years, and Atlantic one year. He was sent to Southampton in 1872, but changed by 
the Elder to Edenton, North Carolina, and served a year ; Norfolk circuit, three years, and is filling 
out his fourth year on Nottoway. 



158 SKETCHES OF THE VIRGINIA CONFERENCE, 



Rev. Richard Ferguson. 

THE fiber of Ferguson is genuine teak oak.. He is faithful in few things and in the many. At 
Gettysburg, with cannon to right and cannon to left and cannon in front, Dick Ferguson excited 
the admiration of veterans for his gallantry. So in the ministry, he gives himself with equal ardor 
and sense of duty to the sacred calling. He quits himself as in the eye of his God. There is Scotch 
blood in his veins, and a mixture of the Briton. The Methodist pioneers would have rejoiced in his 
company. The Conference is honored by his membership and service. 

He is a native of Dinwiddie, born October 3rd, 1838 ; his parents, William and Martha Fergu 
son, were Methodists. His father died when Richard was but eight years old ; the mother when he 
had more than passed twelve, but eternity alone can reveal how much he owes to a pious mother's 
teaching and example. He was consecrated to God in baptism, by Rev. William Starr, and assumed 
and ratified these vows in his thirteenth year, during the pastorate of Revs. J. K. Powers and P. A. 
Peterson. He was educated at Randolph Macon College, where he graduated in 1858. From early 
childhood, he felt impressed that the ministry was his calling, but tried to evade it. He could not, 
however, be happy, if for a moment he relinquished the thought. When the war between the States 
commenced, he was making preparation for the ministry, but felt relief rather in feeling it his duty 
to join the army. He served both as a private soldier and an officer. Was wounded twice, and cap- 
tured at the battle of Gettysburg, where, it is said, he fired the last gun in. Pickett's division. Capt. 
Richard Irby, in the sketch of his company, says of him : " He was the completest soldier I ever 
met with in the army." 

At the close of the war, he returned to his home in Dinwiddie county, and engaged in farming 
and teaching. In the fall of 1868, he was licensed to preach, and aided Rev. G. N. Guy, the ensu- 
ing Conference year on West Dinwiddie circuit ; joined the Virginia Conference, at Richmond, No- 
vember, 1869, and was appointed to the Coalfield and Clover Hill circuit, where his ministry was 
blessed in the conversion of many souls. In 1871-72, he served Prince George circuit. Up to that 
time, it had been a mission since the war. A fresh impulse was given to the work and the member 
ship increased. At City Point, the church, which had remained in a dilapidated condition since the 
war, was repaired and regular preaching established. 

In 1872, by his perseverance and industry, the new and elegant Mount Sinai church was built 
on the spot where the old one stood, which was pulled down during the war. 

In 1873-'74-'75, he served Chesterfield circuit, with acceptability and success. Through his 
instrumentality, a new church was erected at Chester, and others repaired. In 1876, he was on the 
Henrico and Charles City circuit, where nearly one hundred souls were converted, and many added 
to the church. At the following Conference, that circuit was divided, and he was removed to the 
Batesville circuit, in Albemarle county, where he has labored with success for three years ; a parson- 
age has been secured and furnished, and he is now in the fourth year of his pastorate. 



METBODIST EPISCOPAL OBUBOB, SOUTH. 159 



Rev. William Patteson Wright. 

WEIGHT has a German cast of features. He is stout, " built up from the ground." On the 
square shoulders is a big head bulging with brains. He has Napoleon's sign of greatness, 
a sizeable nose. The incidents we shall presently relate will certify that there is a surplus of pluck 
in him. He received his full share of bullets during the war. He has read books to good purpose 
and thought strongly and wisely about them. He does not dawdle over volumes. He cracks a 
book and cares only for the kernels. There is much clarified and independent opinion about him. 
The " wisdom of our ancestors '' does not command his reverence unless it is wisdom. He takes 
little for granted. He must have a good reason or a Scripture before he yields assent. He has a 
singleness of eye, and he had rather be right than President. He is building with granite. Old 
Buckingham county, where he was born on the 14th of May, 1842, has reason to be proud of him. 
His parents were Thomas S. and M. Elizabeth "Wright. 

He was mostly brought up in Bedford county, where his parents resided from 1849 to 1862. 
He was converted in 1859 under the ministry of Bev. Hartwell Pryor, a local preacher. From the 
time of his conversion he was called to an active and public part in church work. He was made 
steward, exhorter, and Superintendent of a Sunday school before he had been two years a member 
of the church. Believing himself called of the Holy Ghost, as well as by the Church, to the ministry, 
he set about supplementing his education, which had gone no further than what was taught in the 
country schools of the neighborhood. The breaking out of the war found him in the midst of plans 
which he fondly hoped would give him the benefit of a few years at Bandolph Macon College. At 
the call to arms he forsook, for the time, the idea of College, and in April, 1861, enlisted as a soldier. 
The company in which he enrolled and served became Company P, 28th Virginia infantry, of Pickett's 
Division. He took part in most of the battles fought by the Army of Northern Virginia (Lee's 
army). He was wounded at Gaines' Mill in the seven days' fighting around Bichmond, and was 
wounded seriously at the battle of Sharpsburg. This wound disqualified him for service in the field 
for more than a year. He was wounded a third time at Cold Harbor, not very far distant from where 
he shed his first blood in the Confederate cause. This wound, at first apparently serious — a gun- 
shot through the arm near the shoulder — healed readily and rapidly, and he was, after an absence 
of two months, again in the ranks. He was taken prisoner on the 25th of August, 1864, and car- 
ried to Point Lookout. On the 12th of November of the same year he was exchanged at Savannah, 
Georgia, with the sick and wounded. Beturning to the army about the first of January, 1865, he 
followed its fortunes to the close of the war. 

The war over, he thought again of College and the work to which he was persuaded God had 
called him. Everything was in confusion, and he had not so much of the world as would provide 
a decent suit of clothing. Besides this, the results of the war had reduced his father and family to 
circumstances of discomfort, and his first work seemed to be to re establish them in circumstances 
of more comfort. To this work he devoted himself for a year ; after which he applied himself to 
study and teaching. Persuaded by his pastor to relinquish the idea of going to College, he was 



160 SKETCBES OF THE VIRGINIA CONFERENCE, 

licensed to preach and recommended to the Annual Conference by the Quarterly Conference of 
Campbell circuit, where he was then residing. He was admitted on trial at the Conference in Pe- 
tersburg, November, 1867. His first appointment was Williamsburg and James City. His next 
appointment was to Elizabeth City, North Carolina, where he served two years. On September 20, 
1870, he married Miss Eosa E. Gilliam, of "Williamsburg, a woman of rare gifts and culture. In 
November of this year he was appointed to Gates circuit, where he remained two years. His first 
year on this circuit was blessed with an extraordinary revival ; more than two hundred persons being 
converted. In 1872 he was assigned to the North Southampton circuit, a new appointment formed 
by the division of the Southampton circuit. He was put in charge of the Bertie circuit in 1873, 
and was returned to the same work the next year. In 1 8^5 he was sent to the New Kent circuit, 
to which he was returned the following Conference. On February 17th, 1877, he suffered the loss 
of his most excellent wife, with whom he had lived most happily since their marriage. In November, 
1879, he was appointed to Laurel-street, Richmond, Va. 



M : 



Rev. James Wiley Bledsoe. 

R. BLEDSOE carries off the palm in the matter of superb physique. He is tall, robust and 
stately. A head of Jove surmounts the splendid body ; and to add to the symmetry of the 
whole — the fitness of things — a deep, rich, round voice flows from his lips like the song of the surf 
mellowed by distance. The masculine frame contains a spirit of superior mould — at once strong 
and gentle. It would be difficult to resist his social charms, or withstand the resolute purpose 
bending towards great objects. He wins the admiration of his audience and the respect and affec- 
tion of his fellow-citizens. He is very popular — a man of the rarest gifts. He has the manliness 
of the old pioneers and the gentle graces of the modern era. He is a student. 

James Wiley Bledsoe was born in. the county of Fluvanna, Va., on the 6th of April, 1841. He 
was educated at Humanity Hall Academy, Buckingham county, Va., and at Emory and Henry Col- 
lege, Va. His father was a prominent and successful farmer, holding an official relation to the 
Methodist church for a number of years previous to his death. His mother was a daughter of the 
late Rev. John Goodman, a local Methodist preacher of Fluvanna, and a devotedly pious Methodist 
woman. Under the wholesome training of these intelligent and pious Christian parents he was led 
to accept Christ in early life, and joined the Methodist church. At the beginning of the late war 
he took an active part in raising an artillery company in his native county, was chosen second officer, 
and, with the company, left for the field in the beginning of the struggle. Mr. Bledsoe's health 
was greatly impaired by the exposure and hardships of camp life. He remained, however, con- 
nected with the army until the surrender. The war being over, he returned to his home in Flu- 
vanna, and commenced the study of law, having united in marriage with Miss Fannie D. Anderson, 



METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, SOUTH. 161 

daughter of James W. Anderson, of Lynchburg, Va., a lady of genuine Christian character, and 
a member of the Methodist church. He had been before pursuing his education with a view to the 
legal profession. When he was about ready to enter upon the practice, he abandoned it (against 
the remonstrances of friends), being impressed with the conviction that it was his duty to preach 
the gospel. He was licensed to preach in November, 1868, and was immediately employed as an 
assistant to Eev. George E. Booker, on the Scottsville circuit. His first year in the ministry was at 
home and among the friends and associates of his early life. He joined the Virginia Conference at 
its session in Richmond in 1869. At the close of the first year he was ordained deacon, and elder 
the second, thus finishing the four years' course of study in two. His first circuit was "West Am- 
herst, where he remained one year, and his second appointment was Prospect, where he remained 
two years. He was then appointed to Smithfield station, and at the close of one year to Central 
church, Portsmouth. Here he was instrumental in the completion of the handsome and commo- 
dious audience room in which the people of Central church now worship. He remained with this 
church but one year. In consequence of the delicate health of Mrs. Bledsoe he was compelled to 
request an appointment in the mountain section. He was accordingly sent to Lynn-street station, 
Danville, where he spent four happy and prosperous years ; and from there to Charlottesville, 
where he is now stationed. 



Rev. Charles Christian Wertenbaker. 

WERTENBAKER, in the German language, means good or honest baker : evidently a good ances- 
tor. We don't know what gifts Charley has as a first-class baker, (though he ought to know how to 
cook flap-jacks — what soldier doesn't?) but surely the bread would not fall below full weight. 
We didn't see a man who slung a rifle that was truer to his post than Wertenbaker. At a prayer 
meeting or a skirmish, Charley was generally ready to improve the occasion. He was cocked and 
primed to put in a shot, or shout. Daniel in Babylon was not braver for his conscience than the 
stripling soldier, and boy class-leader in the Confederate army. His record is luminous. His cour- 
age rallied the wavering soldier. His Christian integrity made steadfast the faltering disciples. 

In the ministry, as everywhere, he moves forward without noise in the line of duty. Churches 
catch inspiration from his consecrated labors. Sinners know him as a man who tell what he feels. 
They plead for mercy. Revivals spread. The good cause prospers. He is a shepherd to the sheep, 
ready to give his own life for the flock. His name is honored wherever he has gone about his Mas- 
ter's work. 

He is the son of Edward and Ann Taylor Wertenbaker. He was born on the third day, of 
April, 1845, at North Garden, in the county of Albemarle, Virginia. By the mutual agreement 
of his .father and his mother he was, in his early childhood, dedicated to God for the minis- 

n 



162 SKETCHES OF THE VIRGINIA CONFERENCE, 

try, and was accordingly thus presented to God at baptism, Rev. Jacob Manning performing the 
ceremony of the occasion. Of this, however, Charley knew not, until after much debating of 
the question of his " life work," and with the full conviction that it was his duty to preach the gos- 
pel, that he had been solemnly set apart to this sacred office "by the imposition of hands." "When 
Charley was about three years old, his father removed to the village of Buchannon, Upshur county, 
Virginia, (now "West Virginia.) Here the family had decided to make their home, and accordingly 
Edward "Wertenbaker had built a dwelling, and large tannery, and expended all surplus money in 
hides, which in those days were very cheap. So far as man could determine, this was the basis of 
a future good, but, "man proposes, and God disposes." While on a business tour through the coun- 
ties of Albemarle and Nelson, in the early Spring of 1852, Edward Wertenbaker, died suddenly of 
congestion of the brain, hundreds of miles from home, lesMng eight children, four of whom were 
married, and four single, of whom Charley was the youngest, but one. 

In the Pall of the same year, (1852) the widow and four infant children returned to Albemarle, 
and in this good old county, and at the good old Ivy Creek Methodist meeting house, Charley began 
his school life. Here, for two years, while between seven and nine years of age, without anything 
to specially mark the period, he steadily followed the then well-worn path of the inevitable ab, eb, 
&c, pursuing the usual routine of the old-field school. But at this point there is a chasm bridged 
by sighs. The family returned to Buchannon. . From this time, 1854, Charley steadily pursued his 
studies without anything to mark the time, until the Winter of 1857-58, during a protracted 
meeting, conducted by Bev. Beverly Hull, P. C, and Samuel H. Mullen, P. E., at the Southern 
Methodist church, he was awakened and converted to God. At this period an event transpired 
which has had a controlling influence on his whole life. The day after he presented himself at the 
altar for prayer, he was at his place in his class at school, though his thoughts were more taken up 
with other themes. While alone, during recess, with a dearly loved school mate and friend, he 
avowed his determination to persist in his efforts to secure salvation, and exhorted his friend to join 
him in the effort, to which his friend readily, and to his surprise, consented. On the evening of that 
memorable day the two boys, in their thirteenth year, presented themselves at the altar. Charley 
was that night converted, and his friend the evening next succeeding. 

Returning home from church on that never-to be-forgotten evening, their way lay for some 
considerable distance along the same street. Charley's mother, and the parents of his friend going 
before, and the two boys, now nearer than friends, brothers in the Lord, following, arm in arm in 
silence. At length the corner was reached, where their ways diverged, when Alvan suddenly throw 
ing his arms around Charley's neck, exclaimed, " Oh ! Charley, I never will forget you." From that 
day an earnest, ardent desire sprang up, to win souls for Christ. For days and weeks the ever-re- 
curring thought in his mind was, " Lord, what wilt thou have me to do V One day while walking 
along a sequestered path, with this question agitating his soul, the answer came, " Go, preach my 
Gospel." For the time being there came over that troubled, tempest-tossed soul, as great a calm 
as when the turbulent sea of Galilee, heard the voice commanding, "Peace, be still." Then came 
the formation of habits, which have controlled his life from that day to the present, viz : Reading 
the Bible three times a day, in conjunction with secret prayer. After two years more had been 
spent at the academy in Buchannon, he was, when fifteen years old, appointed deputy clerk in the 
County and Circuit court clerks' offices. In these offices he worked until April, 1861. War thenmenaced 
the South. 

Mr. John C. Higginbotham, who had just returned home from the Military Institute, at Lex T 



Methodist episcopal church, south. 163 

ington, raised and organized a company of volunteers, called the "Upshur Greys." On the 3d day 
of April, the sixteenth birthday of young Wertenbaker, he was mustered into the service as a sol- 
dier. Sometime during this month the company was ordered to Phillippi, where was encamped 
Col. Porterfleld, with a battalion of cavalry, several companies of infantry, and four or five pieces 
of artillery. In the morning of the 3rd of Jure, 1861, the Federal forces surprised and routed the 
camp, capturing among others the young soldier. Charley was confined for several weeks, when 
through the influence of George Burlin, now of Harrisonburg, but at that time a lawyer at the bar 
at Buchannon, he was paroled. This kept him out of the army for thirteen months — a part of 
which time was spent among his friends in Charlottesville, and at the University of Virginia. 

In August, 1862, after an absence of more than thirteen months from the army, all the prison- 
ers captured up to a certain date having been declared exchanged, he was appointed Quartermaster 
of a battalion, then under command of Col. John B. Moomaw, subsequently this battalion was 
merged, with several other companies, into the 62d regiment mounted infantry, under Col. George 
H. Smith, and assigned to duty in Gen. J. D. Imboden's brigade, in the valley of Virginia. He 
then resigned this position, and was elected Lieutenant in company I, 62d Virginia regiment. In 
this command he continued until the close of the war. He was appointed class-leader of his regi- 
ment by the venerable George G. Brooke, and in the campaigns he became acquainted with the 
author of these sketches, with whom sprang up a lasting friendship. Under this command he was 
engaged in a skirmish with the enemy at Charlestown, Virginia, was in the battle of Coalharbor and 
Gaines' Mill, then with Gen. Early in his raid on Washington, was in command of the skirmish line 
in front of Fort Carroll. Returning from this raid, he was very seriously wounded at Snicker's Gap, 
July 19th, 1864. He was engaged in the fight at Gettysburg, and finally led his regiment in a skir- 
mish at Gordonsville, (Col. George H. Smith in command of the brigade). 

After the war closed, in 1865, he took at Staunton, Virginia, the oath, under the conditions of 
Gen. Lee's surrender. The war left him moneyless, and with a shattered constitution. Thus he 
commenced his civil life, (when twenty one years of age), by teaching a private school in Auguhta 
county, near Churchville. On March 26th, 1866, after examination by L. S. Reed, Presiding Elder, 
he was licensed as a local preacher of the Charlottesville station During a part of the year 1866 
he was employed by Rev. Ezra F. Busey as junior preacher, on Waynesboro' circuit. In the Fall 
of the same year, he received a letter from Rev. Samuel Register, D. D., offering him the East Har- 
ford circuit, and on this field he labored from October, 1866, to March, 1867. During the Confer- 
ence year (1867 to 1868), he was employed on the St. Mary's circuit ; and in March, 1868, was re- 
ceived on trial into the Baltimore Annual Conference, and appointed to Gap Mills circuit. While 
on his first circuit under the Conference, he married Miss Emily Cornelia Briding, of Baltimore 
city. This lady was eminently fitted for the position of Methodist itinerancy, and has been indeed 
a helpmeet in all the years of his ministerial life. In March, 1869, C. C. Wertenbaker was read out 
for Blue Sulphur circuit. Here he labored with encouraging success until about the close of August, 
when his health gave way, and he returned to Maryland. During the Fall and Winter his health 
was so far restored as to enable him to take work again, and accordingly on the 6th day of March, 
1870, he was ordained a deacon by Bishop H. N. McTyeire, and subsequently appointed to Floyd 
Courthouse. The General Conference of this year having transferred this work to the Holston Con- 
ference, the Presiding Elder, the Rev. E. F. Busey, transferred him to Blacksburg station. In 
March, 1871, he was appointed to Fincastle circuit; here he remained one year, and was appointed 
to La Fayette circuit. On the 10th day of March, 1872, at Warrenton, Va., he was set apart for the 



164 SKETCHES OF TEE VIRGINIA CONFERENCE, 

office of an elder by Bishop D. S. Doggett, and was this year appointed to Green Valley mission. 
Visiting this mountain mission during the last weeks of this cold and blustering month, and finding 
its occupancy utterly impracticable for a man of family, the appropriation not being sufficient to 
meet even the merest necessities of his family, he retired from the field, and took up his abode in 
Baltimore city. Hearing of the Wicomico circuit, on the Eastean Shore of Va., made vacant by the 
sickness and death of Bev. W. E. Mitchell, he wrote to the Presiding Elder, Bev. J. B. Dey, and 
secured the place ; here he ' remained the greater part of four years, having in the mean time been 
transferred to the Virginia Conference, in the bounds of which the Eastern Shore district is situated 
In November, 1876, he was appointed to the Atlantic circuit. In November, 1877, he was assigned 
to the Pungoteague circuit, on which circuit he has continued during the years of 1878, 1879 and 
1880. On all these circuits, and in every year the Lord God has honored and encouraged the heart 
of his servant by giving scores and even hundreds of souls for his hire. It is estimated that during 
his active ministry of twelve years over five hundred and fifty souls have been converted to God. 
To this has been added a goodly degree of material prosperity. From this work his heart has never 
turned for a moment, and with the image of the Angel of the Apocalypse flying through heaven, 
having the everlasting gospel to preach, his eye is fixed steadily upon the crown decked with im- 
mortal souls won for Jesus, flashing and sparkling, and all the while giving the glory to Christ, and 
the Holy Ghost, whose power and grace alone have given to him success. 



Rev. William Pleasants J ordan. 

HE has an honorable Methodist lineage. He was nursed in the lap of the Church. So clever a 
man could not have descended from an evil ancestry. The Christian courtesies find display in 
his life. His bright and amiable face speaks, before words, of a cultivated gentleman, seasoned with 
the grace of the gospel. He is such an one as gladdens, by his presence, and makes better the com- 
pany by his conversation. The lowlands, where he has chiefly served, cherish him and praise God 
for his good words and deeds. He edifies the church by public discourse and sets a godly example 
before the flock. An elegant and choice yoke-fellow is William Jordan. 

His parents are Costen and Eliza A. Jordan. His native place is Gates county, N. C, and his 
birthday September 3d, 1847. His father and mother being pious Methodists, his mind was early 
impressed with the importance of religion. He does not remember the time when conscience did 
not call him to a better life. It was not, however, until the age of sixteen that he formally took 
upon himself the vows of Christianity by joining the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. If 
preaching came by inheritance, the effect in this case would have been natural and easy ; for his 
father was and is still a local preacher, and his maternal uncle, Bev. William E. Pell, who died a few 
years since, was long an honored minister in itinerant as well as local work. The fact of getting 
into the preacher's office, though, was accomplished in his case just as in thousands of other cases. 



METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, SOUTH. 165 

It is the same heart story which eyes have read and ears have heard over and over again, but which 
heart experience only can appreciate. The battle with self, the struggle with doubt as to fitness 
and sufficient preparation was only decided after months and years of more or less painful and 
anxious thought. Spared out of protracted and dangerous disease, he finally concluded it was best 
to seek satisfaction in the effort, however unsuccessful, to do the work of the ministry than run the 
risk even of success, without peace of mind, in any other calling. The result was, in October, 
1867, he was licensed to preach by Rev. Henry B. Cowles, and in two weeks thereafter was 
admitted on trial in the Virginia Annual Conference. His first circuit was Bertie, as junior preacher, 
under Bev. B. N Crooks. The preacher gained more than the people by that appointment. A 
kind senior in office, a good proportion of intelligent men and women as punctual hearers, who 
didn't think it beneath their dignity to listen patiently to the intended sermons of a boy preacher — 
these were among the things no new itinerant could afford to despise. 

After staying in Bertie one year he was appointed successively to the following charges : West 
Charlotte, Coalfield and Clover Hill, King William, Williamsburg, Edenton, Meherrin and Camden. 
He is now on Chuckatuck circuit. He also spent two years in the town of Edenton. On the 23d 
of November, 1876, he married Miss Kathleen Alice Moore, of Sussex county, Va. 



Rev. Daniel ■ Gregory Claiborne Butts. 

T I ^HE history of his flight from the call to preach ; the story of years of resistance to duty, and 
_L the ills that befell him, would add another chapter to the record of the rebellious prophet who 
attempted to escape to Tarshish and was arrested on the route by a tempest. When the word of 
the Lord came to Jonah the second time, Jonah arose and went unto Nineveh. That exceeding 
great city was stirred by the old-time deserter. And so of Butts. There is none more zealous for 
God. He has a supreme concern for the erring. God gives witness to the work of His servant. 
The Holy Ghost attends his ministry. Pew can resist his earnest appeals. He is in labors more 
abundant. The membership augments and prosperity comes to his faithful pastorate. He is instruc- 
tive and persuasive in the pulpit, and an admirable manager of revivals. In social life he is frank 
and genial, abounding in kind deeds and tender sympathy. 

He was born on the 10th of October, 1848, at "Boslin," Brunswick county, Va., the residence 
of Bev. 'John G. Claiborne, his maternal grandfather. His parents were Colonel Augustine C. 
Butts, of Petersburg, Va., and Anna Maria Claiborne. His boyhood was spent in Brunswick and 
Greensville counties and in Petersburg. During the great revival at Market-street church, Peters 
burg, in October, 1862, he professed conversion and joined the church under the ministry of Bev. 
R. N. Sledd. His mother died in 1863. While employed in a store in Petersburg in 1865 he sadly 
declined in his religious life. Since he was a child he had been firmly impressed with the conviction 
that to preach the gospel was his duty, and he never did resist this conviction until after the death 



166 SKETCHES OF THE VIRGINIA CONFERENCE, 

of his mother. Then he cast it away, and he left the church. He found that his grandfather's 
Christian example was reviving the old impression, and he determined to get out of the reach of 
that. He secured a situation with with Menken Bros. & Co., in Memphis, Tennessee. He got along 
quite well until letters from home turned his thoughts again to preaching. He made a vow against 
it. On the night of the 5th of December, 1866, he was attacked with Asiatic cholera, and for nine 
hours he was in a critical condition. At first he was hardened.. Presently he thought of his sainted 
mother and her prayers. His heart was broken and the Holy Ghost wrought mightily in him. He 
prayed and promised God if he would spare him, he would preach. He was up the next day, but 
did not do what he promised, and within four days he was down again with bilious fever, and his 
life was despaired of. He covenanted again to preach, and, after three weeks' suffering, recovered. 
He again renounced this call absolutely, and plunged into vice, and this page of his life is full of 
bitter memories and wickedness. He went to God in prayer, and the same old impression returned. 
His mother's prayers still rested upon the mercy seat, awaiting an answer. The call, " Preach the 
Gospel !" rung in his ear. He decided to be not only a Christian, but a preacher. He returned to 
Petersburg, and soon saw Dr. Granbery, pastor of Market-street church, and told him his troubles. 
The pastor gave his wise counsel and suitable books. On the fourth Sunday afternoon in January, 
1868, Mr. Butts attended the young men's prayer-meeting at Washington-street church. Bro. James 
Blanks was the leader. One after another spoke, until Mr. Butts could sit still no longer He arose 
and told them God had called him to preach, and he wanted them to pray for his conversion. Bro. 
Blanks called to prayer, and asked Mr. Butts to lead. He was astonished, confused, but he tried. 
Presently the clouds which had hung over his soul began to disappear, the sun of righteousness 
shone in dazzling splendor through his whole being, and the peace of God filled his heart. On the 
1st of May Providence commenced opening the way towards the ministry. That day he was ap- 
pointed agent at Stony Creek depot, on the Petersburg and Weldon railroad. He secured board in 
the Christian family of Bev. James A. Biddick, under whose direction he read theology until Octo- 
ber 1st, when, by the help of his grandfather, Bev. John G. Claiborne, he went to Randolph Macon 
College at Ashland, Va. On March 6th, 1869, he was licensed by Rev. Jacob Manning as a local 
preacher. At the close of the session he went to Gloucester circuit, and labored with Bev. E. M. 
Peterson, pastor, until October, and then returned to College. Caroline circuit wanted to send two 
young men to College, provided they would preach on the circuit on Sunday. Mr. P. C. Archer, 
now of the North Texas Conference, and Mr. Butts were chosen. It was necessary that one of 
them should join the Conference, and the lot fell on Mr. Butts. In 1871 he was sent to Montross cir- 
cuit, and returned there a married man in 1872. He was married on the 13th of November, 1872, 
to Miss A. Emma Swann, the daughter of Dr. George P. Swann, an influential Methodist, and 
steward at Rehoboth church, in Caroline circuit. In 1873 he was sent to the Heathsville circuit, 
where he remained four years. During his stay here the people bought a parsonage and paid for 
it. In 1877 he was appointed to the King George circuit, where he is now concluding his third year. 



METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, SOUTH 167 



Rev. John Quincy Rhodes. 

I^HE preacher, who numbers nearly three hundred converts in a single charge, when he has been 
in the Conference but a few years, gives proof strong as Holy Writ, that he is called to the 
ministry, and that there is right material in him. Mr. Rhodes has aptness for the itinerancy. He 
is wise and enterprising, following up a stirring sermon by faithful pastoral care. The work widens 
and waxes strong under his supervision. Methodism in Virginia, with such men as Ehodes, will 
never cease to flourish. His labors have been signally blessed with converts. 

He is a native of the noted county of Albemarle, and dates his birth from the 28th December, 
1845. His parents were Richard and Martha Rhodes. * 

In the Fall of 1867, he was converted at " B. M." church, on the Scottsville circuit, during a 
protracted meeting, which was conducted by the Rev. G. C. Vanderslice, while pastor of that charge. 
About ten months after his conversion, his mind becoming seriously stirred on the subject of preach- 
ing the gospel, he determined, under the moving of the Holy Spirit, to devote himself to the work 
of the Christian ministry. With this end in view, he attended the Stony Point Academy, near the 
town of Scottsville, in Albemarle county, then under the efficient management of Rev. A. C. Bledsoe, 
A. M., of the Virginia Conference. Upon the discontinuance of that school, in the summer of 1868, 
he went to the academy in Harrisonburg, Rockingham county, Virginia, which was under the con 
duct of Rev. Mr. Holland, of the Lutheran church, a man of fine attainments. Here he remained 
until near June of the following year, when he was licensed a local preacher at a Quarterly Confer- 
ence, held by Rev. L. S. Reed, Presiding Elder of the Charlottesville district, in the church in which 
he was converted. After exercising his gifts as a local minister for about five months, he was, in 
the Fall of that year, 1869, recommended at Howardsville, by the 4th Quarterly Conference of that 
charge, as a suitable person to be received into the travelling connection of the Virginia Confer- 
ence. Hence at the Conference of 1869, held at Richmond, Virginia, he was admitted on probation, 
and appointed as preacher in charge of the Berlin circuit, where he labored until the Conference 
of 1870, when he was assigned to the Spottsylvania circuit. At the Conference of 1871, held in 
Portsmouth, Virginia, he was ordained a deacon by Bishop Paine, and sent for that year to Bannister 
circuit. He had charge of South Bedford circuit in 1873 and 1874. In Granby Street church he 
was ordained an elder by Bishop Keener, who presided over the Conference of 1873. In 1875 and 
1876, he labored on the Indian Ridge circuit, in Currituck county, North Carolina. At the Confer- 
ence of 1876, he was sent to Northampton circuit, North Carolina. He was assigned in 1879 to the 
Cumberland circuit. 



168 SKETCHES OF THE VIRGINIA CONFERENCE, 



Rev. George Mann Wright. 

IT would take all the space assigned to this name to tell even a tithe of the incidents of the war 
related by this humorous cavalier, who rode through it from beginning to the end, and who bore 
a gallant part in its achievements. His military record is a worthy factor in that fame that fills the 
world with the renown of heroic deeds. He is best known as a preacher of singular popularity in 
the Conference and among his people. The body is ever fond of George. The boys cluster around 
him, and the patriarchs never weary of his company. He has infinite humor, and his burlesque 
descriptions would tickle the ribs of death. Among his parishioners he is held in unbounded favor. 
He knows everybody ; visits every house ; while his kind heart melts at sorrow, he has a cheerful 
word for all. The sleek and cunning proselyter coming into our fold, is soon put to flight by a rat- 
tling piece of wit tacked to him. 

Descended from a family of note, with a social standing, the marks of good breeding every- 
where show themselves in Mr. Wright. He never violates even the small proprieties of polite life. 
"While he is all things to all men, it is to win them to Christ. The desire for the success of the 
gospel dominates his life. He is a great, worker. He draws all his thoughts that way. He is the 
son of Col. James Wright, of Essex. His mother was Judith Edmundson Wright. The preacher 
was born in that county on the 7th June, 1839. 

He received an academic education at Fleetwood Academy, which was a flourishing institution, 
at that time under the Presidency of Oliver White, assisted by James C. Council and James W. 
Smith. 

At the commencement of the war he volunteered and joined a cavalry company, from his county, 
remaining in service the whole war. 

He was converted in a meeting conducted by Rev. Charles H. Boggs, who was then chaplain of 
the 9th Virginia cavalry, and connected himself with the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. After 
the close of the war, he returned to his home, and farmed for several years, as he had been deprived 
of the means of completing his education. During this time he felt called to the ministry, but 
did not make it known to any one, but to his surprise was advised by several ministers and laymen 
to enter the ministry. 

In the Fall of 1869, he joined the Virginia Conference, at the session in Richmond, Virginia. 
His first appointment was King William circuit, which he travelled three years ; from this place to 
Petersburg, in charge of Blandford and Wesley chapel, remaining there three years ; and from 
there to Richmond, in charge of Oregon, where he served four years. He is now on the Scottsville 
circuit. 

He was married in 1878 to Miss Josie. Jjeitch, of Buckingham county, with whom he is now 
happily journeying through life. 



METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, SOUTH. 169 



Rev. James Edward Gates. 

BEOTHEE GATES is a native of Chesterfield, but his youth was passed chiefly in Petersburg. 
His mother was a Methodist, and her son was dedicated in infancy to the Lord by baptism at 
a Methodist altar. His father became a Christian while young Gates was still a small boy. He 
pays a high tribute to his parents, in a paragraph lying before us. " The impress of my parents' 
piety, so constant and regular in its flow, so humble, earnest and pure, has been upon me through 
life — it is a controlling influence with me to-day — will, I doubt not, follow me to the grave." His 
father joined the Baptists, and his mother wishing to be with him in church relation connected her- 
self with the same denomination. Their son attended the Sunday-school of that people, where he 
enjoyed their instruction. There was an interesting episode in connection with his Sunday-school 
life. It is better told in his words. 

"I remained in this Sabbath-school until I was fourteen or fifteen (possibly more, I can't be exact) 
years of age, when I encountered, " once in grace always in grace," and immersion as an essential 
to admission to the Lord's table. "While I had never read with a view to the discussion of these 
points, yet from my general reading of the Scriptures, I felt that my teacher was in error upon 
both one and the other. There were a dozen or more scholars in the class, some of them almost 
grown. I expected every moment a contrary opinion from some member, but to my astonishment no one 
said a word. ' I became nervous in my interest for what I conceived to be the teaching of Scrip- 
tures upon these points, and felt that I would be recreant to my duty in all of its bearings if I 
withheld my protest to these views. With much hesitancy, and a tremulous voice, I commenced 
the defence of truth. The discussion was waxing warm when the superintendent rang the books 
in and the school closed. This afforded me a week to hunt up such passages of Scripture as would 
serve me in the discussion. We resumed the discussion the next Sabbath morning, " of once in 
grace," &c; ("close communion," was discussed at another time,) and my success was so complete in 
both that I felt compelled, as did others of the class, to hold to the views I then advanced. I hold 
them now. 

"Up to this time I had never thought, in case of conversion, of joining any other than the church 
of my parents. I remained in the Sabbath-school for a while, but never felt satisfied. I could not 
endure their views. 

"I determined to inform my parents of the disturbed state of my mind, and ask their permission 
to dissolve my connection with the school. I felt that it would be a source of grief to them, and 
so it was. My father presented his views upon these points, which were in accord with his church, 
and very cheerfully listened to mine. I believe to-day that if he had not been already committed, 
he would have been on my side of the question. 

"I soon joined the Washington-Street Methodist Sunday-school, or rather, as it was then, the 
Union Street, where I remained until I grew up to manhood." 

In the Spring of 1842, under the ministry of the Eev. Anthony Dibrell, he was converted, and 
embraced the first opportunity to join the church. He immediately became interested in all of the 
22 



170 SKETCHES OF TEE VIRGINIA CONFERENCE, 

meetings of the church, and was never absent from any of them, except when circumstances beyond 
his control prevented. 

Revs. A. Dibrell, Dr.W. A. Smith, Edward Wadsworth, George W. Langhorne and H. B. Cowles, 
served the Washington-Street church, during his connection with it. His interest was so deep and 
constant in the preaching of these pious servants of God, that he always felt it a great privation to 
be absent from the church — they doubtless did much in giving character and tone to his religious 
character. Here a mutual fondness for each other sprang up between Eev. H. B. Cowles and Mr. 
Gates, which, without the least interruption, lasted to the day of Mr. Cowles' death. 

He was educated at the Anderson Academy, and had the good fortune of three Methodist 
ministers as teachers. They frequently put theological works in his hands. He became an assist 
ant teacher. His health failed for a number of years, amd he was connected with mercantile busi- 
ness for eight or nine years. He suffered loss in his spiritual state. In 1848 he commenced teach 
ing in Manchester. In 1849, on account of sickness, he removed to Richmond, where a large num 
ber of his pupils followed him and attended his instruction. He continued his private school until 
1858, when he was elected Principal of Richmond Lancasterian school, where he remained thirteen 
years. On his first location in Richmond, he was visited by his old Petersburg pastor, Rev. H. B. 
Cowles, who was in charge of Centenary, and under whose care the faded piety of Mr. Gates was 
restored. Mr. Gates soon began to do excellent service in the Oregon Sunday-school, a suburban 
chapel, under the patronage of Centenary. He became at once a leading official in this Missionary 
church. Presently he became exhorter and local preacher. This was about 1854. He exercised 
his gifts regularly in Richmond, and the near appointments to the city. He was among the first to 
begin the Sidney work, which has culminated in that gem — Park Place. He was active in the 
" Miller's barn " enterprise, which resulted in Mount Zion, Henrico. 

A gentleman of wealth who had heard Mr. Gates in the noted Anderson Literary Association, 
(a debating society, where many maiden swords of now eminent men were first fleshed), offered him 
the means of turning to the law as a profession. Mr. Gates desired only to proclaim the glad 
tidings of Jesus. ^ 

In 1860, Dr. Doggett, of the Richmond district, pressed Mr. Gates into service as a supply for 
Oregon church. Though his school duties were onerous, the urgency of the Elder overcame his 
reluctance. He served the charge for seven years. His change from the local to the itinerant 
ranks is told in a few genuine heartfelt words. 

"While my family continued large and helpless, my conscience rested well in the local ranks, but 
when Providential dispensations, some of them exceedingly sad, had reduced us to too small a 
number for house keeping, thoughts of the travelling connection came on with increased force, 
giving me scarcely any rest either day or night, until I promised the Lord to offer at the next session 
of our Conference for admission — and if successful, to do my best as a minister of the gospel of 
Christ." 

He was received on trial in 1871, and assigned to the Nelson circuit, which he served for three 
years. There were two hundred and twenty five converts. He labored on the Scottsville circuit 
the next three years with great and gracious success, though his health gave way in the last year. 
He returned for one year to Nelson with a goodly list of conversions. He is now serving Halifax 
circuit, 

And such in outline is the story of a true hearted Methodist preacher — a man of culture, 
^alents and devotion. The church owes him much for his enterprise and faithful service. 

He was born on the 28th of December 1822. His parents were Benjamin and Jane Gates,. 



MtfTSomSF EPISCOPAL CSUBCB, SOVtM. 171 



Rev. Edward Marcellus Jordan. 

MR. JORDAN is a native of Illinois. His father, John Parker Jordan, was born and raised in 
Isle of "Wight, Va. His mother was Miss McConnell, of Illinois. Edward Jordan was brought 
up in Perquimans county, North Carolina. 

He has inherited the energy of the West, with the elegances of life of lowland Virginia. It 
is seldom that his diligence is surpassed, and for companionship, Jordan is at the head of the list. 
These qualities, sanctified by religion, have made him a successful and popular preacher, loved, hon- 
ored and admired. 

He was converted in August, 1867, in Fletcher's chapel, Gates county, North Carolina, under 
the ministry of William B. Allen, and licensed to preach in 1869, on Gates circuit, Rev. M. S 
Colonna, preacher in charge, and Henry B. Cowles, Presiding Elder. He joined the Virginia Confer- 
ence on trial, November, 1 869, at Richmond, and travelled first year, Northumberland ; second year, 
Berlin ; ordained deacon by Bishop Paine ; third, fourth and fifth, Orange ; fourth year ordained 
elder — Bishop Keener ; sixth year, Culpeper ; seventh and eighth, South Norfolk ; ninth, tenth, and 
eleventh, Norfolk, his present field. 

On 10th November, 1873, he was married to Miss Mattie P, Walker, of Madison county. 



Rev. William Edwards Payne. 

THE father of Mr. Payne was a class leader and exhorter. The son has received the call of the 
father, and is exercising his vocation on a wider field. The preacher has gifts for arousing the 
hearers. In every field there has been gracious ingatherings. In his eighteenth year, Mr. Payne 
entered the Confederate army. He was born on the 31st of March, 1846. In the Pall of 1865, he 
was converted at a revival, at Shiloh Baptist church, near his home in his native county of King 
George, and was baptized and received into the Methodist church, by the Rev. James Porter, now 
of the Baltimore Conference. In 1868, he was licensed to preach by the Quarterly Conference for 
King George circuit, Rev. W. B. Rowzie, Presiding Elder. Mr. Payne was at once put in charge 
of the Northumberland circuit. He joined the Conference in 1869. In 1870, he served Orange cir- 
cuit. In 1871, he was ordained deacon by Bishop Paine. He labored two years (1872-3) on Beaver 
Dam. In November, 1873, he was ordained elder by Bishop Keener, and assigned to Greene circuit, 
where he travelled four years. He is now laboring on Fluvanna circuit, in his third year. 

Mr. Payne is of masculine and symmetrical build. He has an intellectual face, with marks of 
manliness about it. He is in excellent report as a preacher and pastor. He has fruits. 



172 SKETCHES OF THE VIRGINIA CONFERENCE, 



- Rev. James Thomas Lumpkin. 

ACONSIDEBABLE company of military veterans could be raised in the Virginia Conference. 
It was remarked to the praise of Cromwell's soldiers, after they were disbanded, that whenever 
you found a first rate civilian, it was very likely he had served under Oliver. Of the younger race 
in the Conference, there are a choice band — all ex-Confederates. The men who bore themselves 
gallantly and well in arms, have not failed to quit themselves as good soldiers of Jesus Christ. And 
more, there is nothing in these ministers that would suggest the profession of arms. And they were 
not rude soldiers of fortune, but gentlemen "jeopardizing their lives in. the high places of the field,'- 
and for noble ends. A choice spirit among them is Tom Lumpkin. He adorns his sacred calling 
by a grave and gentle bearing, a pure life, and a steady devotion to his lofty vocation. It falls to 
the lot of only one in many to hold so full confidence of a large body of men, as to discretion, 
moral courage and unflinching integrity. There is yet to be found any one challenging these qual- 
ities in Tom Lumpkin. It is a pride to name him as a friend. His service to his church has been 
replete with blessings to the people. He is a Methodist preacher of the best type. 

He hails from the peninsula, the birthplace of many worthy men. Matthews is his native county. 
He dates his age from July 17th, 1840. His parents were John E. and Catherine W. Lumpkin. 
He was bereft of father and mother in early life. His father died when he was two years old, and his 
mother, when he was about fourteen. 

Soon after the death of his mother, he went to Baltimore city, Maryland, where he lived until 
about the beginning of the late war, when he returned to Virginia. His educational advantages, as 
a boy, were meagre, having gone to school in all about three years only, when the war between the 
States broke out. Since the war he has attended Randolph Macon College two sessions, of nine 
months each. It was the wish of his mother that he should go to school, but after the division of 
her husband's estate, which occurred some years before her death, she found it necessary, in the 
absence of her other sons, to keep this, the youngest one at home. 

At a protracted meeting on Middlesex circuit, conducted by Eev. J. C. Hummer, preacher in 
charge, aided by Eev. J. M. Anderson, he became deeply concerned about the salvation of his soul. 
There the initial step towards becoming a Christian was taken. To the Eev. J. M. Anderson, he 
expressed himself — even while at the penitents' bench — satisfied; but a close examination of his own 
heart soon discovered to him that there was not that comfort and peace, which he thought should 
follow the justified state. His sins were not remitted, hence he sought forgiveness, and was con 
sciously pardoned while standing at the entrance door of the Charles Street church, Baltimore, after 
hstening to a sermon from the Eev.- B. F. Brook, which deeply impressed his heart. This was in 
the year, 1858. At the beginning of the late war, he joined the Confederate army, and served in 
the 55th Virginia Infantry three years, and in the First. Maryland Cavalry one year. He received 
only two light wounds or bruises during the war, one at Chancellorsville, and one at Gettysburg, 
Pennsylvania. . Soon after bis transfer to cavalry, his horse was shot in an engagement with General 
Grant's advance forces upon Eichmond, and he was captured. He was a prisoner at Point Lookout, 
Maryland, six months. 



MEfHODlSf EPISCOPAL CHURCH, SOUtH. 1"?3 

Immediately after the war, lie returned to Baltimore, and went in business at a fair salary, suf- 
ficient for immediate demands, but he had been early impressed concerning the ministry, and up to 
that time his intention was not abandoned. He was satisfied that his limited education would not 
justify a step in that direction, and his salary was not enough then to allow any surplus after meet- 
ing necessary expenses. 

He remained in Baltimore about six months, when he returned to Virginia, and began business 
for himself. This change enabled him, in three years, to make enough, over and above expenses to 
pay board and incidental expenses the two years he wasat Eandolph Macon College. 

He joined the Virginia Conference in November, 1870, at Lynchburg, Va. 



Rev. John Thomas Moore. 

MR. MO ORE has superior furniture for the ministry. He acquired at college not only a mas- 
tery over an impediment of speech, as perfectly as did Summerfield, but a pleasing oratory and 
thorough culture. Since his entrance into the ministry, he has laid up choice material for his work 
and wrought out a series of strong, engaging and stirring discourses. He has also a charm in social 
life, that makes much in the inventory of prime equipments for his vocation. 

He is the son of Raleigh P. and Elizabeth W. Moore, and was born in New Kent county, Vir 
ginia, August 28th, 1845. His parents were of English ancestry. The maiden name of his mother 
was Ratcliffe, identical with the English name Radcliffe. 

"When quite young, he was the subject of religious impressions. Faithful preaching from time 
to time stirred his conscience, and though these impressions ordinarily soon wore off, the seeds of 
gospel truth lodged by this means in his heart, doubtless, had much to do with his conversion. 
This event took place, in the absence of any ministerial effort, or prevailing religious interest, De- 
cember 4th, 1864. New Kent circuit, however, was left so disorganized at the close of the war 
that he did not join the church until February, 1866. 

A few days after his conversion, he was deeply impressed with the importance of doing some 
active work for Christ in the salvation of souls. This impression soon took the form of decided 
drawings to the Christian ministry. In response to these drawings, he entered Randolph Macon 
College in the fall of 1869, and joined the Virginia Annual Conference in 1873. He continued at 
college until June, 1874, when he was transferred from Oregon, Richmond, where he had served 
on Sabbaths, to Gordonsville. 

His fields of labour have been Gordonsville, 1874 and 1875 ; Salisbury, Maryland, 1876 ; Ash- 
land, 1877; and Amherst circuit, 1878 and 1879. 

He says, in a note to the author : " I may remark that the stammering speech that had at 
tended me through life, and that was, at my entry into college, so painful both to speaker and to 
hearer, as to cause Dr. Duncan to excuse me from public declamation, so far broke down, during 
my stay there, that, when I left, I was able to speak with some ease." 



i 74 SKETCHES OF TEE VIRGINIA CONFERENCE, 



Rev. Richard Johnson Moorman. 

ON the honorable roll the Confederate army has furnished the Conference, Moorman has no mean 
rank. His face shows the mould of a vigorous intellect. There are present and cropping out, 
qualities which, when well worked, produce abiding and valuable results. He has many strong 
points. He is a pleasing and impressive spoaker. His voice is sonorous, and kept well in hand. 
He has a diction in keeping with the music of the tongue and the moving gesture. He has a noble 
figure. An extensive revival is progressing in his charge, while these sheets are passing to the 
press. We can well understand, that a community would be stirred by such a preacher. 

He is the seventh son of Achilles Herndon and Eliza Smith Moorman. He is of English and 
French descent upon his father's side, and pure Scotch upon his mother's. He was born at Callands, 
Pittsylvania county, Virginia, on 29th October, 1846. It was the intention of his parents that he 
should have the advantages of a thorough education, and in accordance with this design, when in 
his thirteenth year they entered him as a student at Kinggold Academy, an institution of high grade, 
and located a few miles below Danville, Virginia. He did not remain more than a year at this 
school, before the war between the States began, and so many of the students enlisted in the army 
that the school was discontinued, and he was compelled to return home, where he continued his 
studies under the tutelage of Mr. Eobert A. Walker, a gentleman of high educational attainments 
and justly celebrated as a teacher. 

In 1864, he entered the army of the Confederate States, with the rank of Captain, and remained 
until the close of the war. 

After the war his parents found it impossible to continue his education ; he obtained a position 
as a civil engineer, and for some time was engaged in a survey of the proposed line of the Norfolk 
and Great Western Railroad. Upon the failure of this enterprise, he again returned home, and it 
was soon after this, that he became concerned upon the subject of religion. Through the instru- 
mentality of Rev. David M. Wallace, he was induced to unite with Methodist Episcopal Church, 
South, a step, which, in a few weeks, culminated in a happy and triumphant conversion. He soon 
became exercised upon the subject of a call to the ministry, and was licensed as an exhorter. On 
24th June, 1870, he was licensed as a local preacher ; the two succeeding years were spent in assist- 
ing Rev. James H. Jefferson, in charge of South Staunton circuit, and the now sainted and glorified 
David F. Hodges, on Franklin circuit. To the influence of these two godly men, Mr. Moorman 
feels much indebted, and still cherishes the memory of their hallowed friendship, with unchanging 
pleasure and affection. In November, 1872, he was received on trial into the Virginia Conference ; 
his first appointment was to Patrick circuit ; his next to Liberty station. In November, 1874, he 
was ordained a deacon by Bishop Marvin, and sent to Culpeper station. On the 16th February, 
1876, he was married to Miss Harriet Jameson ; in November of this year, he was ordained an Elder 
by Bishop Kavanaugh, and stationed at Salisbury, Maryland. He is now serving his fourth year in 
this charge. 



METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, SOUTH. 175 



Rev. Thomas Horace Campbell. 

THE war record of Campbell is a stirring story of a veteran in the great pitched battles of America. 
The stubborn stuff of Scotch and British ancestors, shows itself in the Confederate warrior. With 
this tough courage was joined the chivalry of Godfrey or Sir Galahad. It is the very pearl of 
knighthood to find a soldier shot down, while risking his life to give a wounded enemy a drink of 
water, or a boy putting in peril his own life in rescuing a drowning slave. It is not a surprise 
that such a man was found resolute and faithful when severely tested on post by his own com 
mander, whose horse he seized, and forced the rider to obey the rules of ah army in the field. 

Mr. Campbell has carried into the ministry the same lofty traits of character. It would have 
been the joy of that first Apostle, who counted not his life dear unto himself, when in the path of 
duty, to have had the limping and scarred Confederate for lieutenant in that other war of pulling 
down the strongholds of Satan. Mr. Campbell commands the respect of the church by his zeal, de 
votion and ability. All the departments of the work are thrifty under his oversight and leadership. 
He is strong in the pulpit and possesses social magnetism. His works praise him. 

He comes of true Methodist stock. The family has among its members some of the first men, 
in native endowments, that honor the laity of Virginia Methodism. 

He is the son of Lewis S. and Eliza D. Campbell, and was born in Amherst county, Va., De- 
cember the 18th, 1838. His mother, daugher of the late Thomas H. Brown, of Albemarle county, 
Va., is of English descent. His father, son of Wiley Campbell, of Amherst county, Va., and 
brother of Rev. Thomas S. Campbell, a member of the North Carolina Conference, is of Scotch 
descent. His great grandparents on both sides were Methodists, and a large majority of their 
descendants belong to the Methodist church to the present day. His grandfather, Thomas H. Brown, 
and his great uncle, the late Dr. Charles Brown, of Albemarle county, Va., both prominent laymen 
of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, were for more than fifty years stewards in the church. 
His grandfather, Wiley Campbell, was from early manhood to his death a steward, his house was 
the pioneers' home, and the place of worship for early Methodists. His father, Lewis S. Campbell, 
was for more than twenty years a steward, and his only brother, B. B. Campbell, is a steward on the 
Mount Pleasant circuit, Virginia Conference. 

Thomas H. Campbell, received his early religious training from pious parents, and his early 
education in the schools and academies of his native county. He was converted in September, 1856, 
under the ministry of the Rev. Joseph Spriggs, and joined the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, 
the fall of the same year. Being early impressed that he was called of God to the work of the min- 
istry, concealing his convictions and struggling against the Holy Spirit he came near on two or three 
occasions withdrawing from the church, but was prevented by the conviction that, " Woe is me if I 
preach not the Gospel,'" the timely advice of faithful ministers of Christ, and the example and in- 
fluence of pious parents. He entered Emory and Henry College in 1858, to complete his education 
preparatory to entering the ministry, and remained in this institution until the close of the session 
of I860. He was licensed to preach March 30th, 1861, but owing to the, civil war that broke out. 



176 SKETCHES OF THE VIRGINIA CONFERENCE, 

between the States that year, he enlisted, as a member of one of the first companies organized in 
his county, for the service of the Southern Confederacy, and in April, 1861, left his home and friends 
in obedience to what he believed to be a solemn call to duty, and in defence of sacred right. 

The company of which he was a member, formed a part of the 19th Virginia Regiment, of 
Pickett's Division. He was in the first battle of Mannassas, July 21, 1861, and the battle of Williams, 
burg, May, 1862. In the latter fight, after a severe and successful charge with fixed bayonets, he 
was wounded in the head, while kneeling by the side of a dying Federal soldier, giving him water 
from his canteen. He was in the battle of the Seven Pines, where the captain of his company, one 
sergeant, and several privates were killed, and many wounded. He was in the battle of Gaines' Mill, 
the second day of the seven days' fight around Richmond, June 27th, 1862. The brigade of which 
he was a member, was ordered to charge without seeing*the enemy or knowing their strength, with 
the comforting assurance, that if they did their duty, they would take the field. The charge was 
commenced promptly and vigorously, and soon, brought the Confederates face to face with a line of 
Federal infantry in open field. This line of Federal troops was supported by three lines of infantry 
strongly entrenched behind by as many lines of breast-works. In the face of a galling fire, the Con- 
federates rushed like an avalanche of death, routing the Federals, strewing the field with dead and 
wounded, and capturing all three lines of works. It was within thirty yards of the last line of 
breastworks that the subject of this sketch was brought to a sudden, though not very unexpected, 
halt by a minnie ball, in the right thigh, producing a fracture of the " femur within the capsular 
ligaments;" from the field he was borne to the fiejd hospital, where he remained till Sunday, June 
29th, when he was removed to Winder hospital, Richmond, Va. He attributes his recovery, under 
God, in a great measure to the obstinacy with which he refused to surrender the litter on which 
he was placed, until he had reached the hospital in Richmond, thereby, avoiding six painful and per- 
ilous handlings. He informs us that the first thought that flashed into his mind when struck by the 
bullet was, " Now, I will get a furlough" ; this serves to show how oblivious a soldier may be of 
danger, and how fondly his mind clings to home. He was never again able to enter the. field, but 
performed the duty of conscript officer, till the close of the war. 

He commenced to exercise his gifts as a local preacher in 1863, and continued in that relation 
to the church until 1872. He was ordained deacon by Bishop Early, in Danville, Va., November 
25th, 1865, and elder by Bishop George F. Pierce, in Lynchburg, Va., November 13th, 1870. He 
was married to Miss Virginia Henry, daughter of the late Rev. Henry D. Wood, of the Virginia 
Conference, in October, 1862. He engaged in teaching school, assisted by his wife, from the close 
of the war, 1865, to the year, 1868, from which time till 1872, he was engaged in farming with his 
brother, Mr. B. B. Campbell. He travelled Amherst circuit, as junior with Rev. J. P. Garland, in 
1868, by appointment of Rev. A. G. Brown, Presiding Elder. 

Feeling impressed with the importance of a more thorough consecration to the work of the min- 
istry, he applied, through Rev. Henry B. Cowles, for admission into the Virginia Conference at its 
session in Petersburg, 1872. On arriving in Petersburg, Brother Cowles informed him that there 
was strong opposition to receiving married men into Conference, and advised him to take work un- 
der a Presiding Elder, to which he replied : "No ; I believe I am called of God to this work, make 
the application, if I am rejected, I shall conclude I am mistaken, and will be satisfied." The appli- 
cation was accordingly made, and after some debate, he was received. His first charge was West 
Amherst circuit, where he remained 1873-74-75 ; his second charge was Mount Pleasant circuit, 
J876 ; his third, present charge, was Ga.tes Circuit, North Carolina, 1877-'78-'79, He has had re, 



METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, SOUTH. 177 

vivals of religion on all his fields of labour, and many have been converted to God, and joined the 
church under his ministry. He has also contributed to the material prosperity of the church, by 
building new houses of worship on every charge on which he has been placed. 



I 



Rev. William Henry Atwill. 

R. CLAY never had greater art, if art it be, for securing popularity than Atwill. It however 

comes natural to the preacher. The people will grow fond of him, and he rewards their con- 
fidence and attachment by admirable preaching, intense interest in their spiritual welfare and faithful 
pastoral work. He does not lack in personal and society attractions. He is, withal, a consecrated 
man. Take him all in all, he is well accoutred for his calling. He has been married twice. 

Famous old Westmoreland is his native heath. He was born there, March 2nd, 1848, and is the 
son of S. B. Atwill and Jane Ann Atwill. His father was a native of the eounty ; his mother was a 
Miss Broun, of Northumberland county, Va. His father was merchant and farmer, and leading citi- 
zen of the county. He was a great friend to the Methodist church, his home was known as the 
preacher's home, while his heart was always tender towards those who labored in the cause of our 
Master. 

Mr. Atwill's early opportunities for an education, were those of a first class private school. His 
father employed for a number of years prior to the war competent teachers. 

In September, 1869, under the ministration of Rev. W. F. Bain, of the Virginia Conference, 
while stationed on the Lancaster circuit, and holding a meeting in Northumberland county, Virginia, 
Mr. W. H. Atwill was converted. It was a clear unmistakable conversion. Coming simultane- 
ous with it was the call to the ministry, which he never doubted. Feeling incompetent for such a 
responsible work, he resolved to enter Randolph Macon College, in order to become better fitted 
for the great duties of the ministry. 

He entered college, September, 1872, and remained until the close of the session, 1874. He 
was licensed to preach by the Quarterly Conference of Lancaster circuit, at White Stone church, 
April 22nd, 1872. After leaving college, he was employed by the Presiding Elder of Richmond dis- 
trict, as junior preacher on Matthews circuit, travelled there until the fall of 1874, and then joined 
the Conference. He was appointed as junior preacher for the same circuit. In the fall of 1875, he 
was married to Miss Maggie A. Guion, formerly of Westchester county, New York, but whose par- 
ents were then citizens of Matthews county, Va. From the Conference that fall, he took charge of 
his first circuit, Powhatan. 

In the fall of 1876, he was ordained deacon in Richmond, by Bishop H. H. Kavanaugh, and ap- 
pointed to South Brunswick circuit. 

At the session of the Conference in Petersburg, November, 1878, he was ordained elder by 
Bishop George F. Pierce, and re-appointed to South Brunswick circuit, making the third appoint 
ment from the Conference to that circuit. He was returned to the same charge for 1879-80. 

In February, 1879, he lost his amiable and devoted wife. 
23 



178 SKETCHES OF THE VIRGINIA CONFERENCE, 



Rev. Benjamin Shepard Herring. 

BROTHER Herring is a North Carolinian, a native of Pender county. Sorry and vicious country 
pedagogues first gave him a distaste for learning, and then the war upset educational affairs. 
It so turned out that young^Eerring had but a moderate chance for early training. His experience 
in securing pardon, and a place in the church, is best related in his own language. 

" It was in the early part of the war, that I made an open profession of religion. Erom child 
hood, religion had given me much trouble. I was conscious of possessing a strong will, a high tem- 
per and an evil nature, but with all a deep longing to be better. Sometimes brooding over my 
wicked disposition, and the responsibilities of a rational existence, I have wished that I had never 
been born. No doubt proper Christian sympathies and instruction, would have dispelled the gloom 
that like a pall hung over my spiritual sky, and brought joy and peace to my heart. This I had 
not. The deep longings of my heart, the hopes, the fears, were all locked up in my youthful bosom. 
"Whether my secret was kept from every one, even my mother, from pure shyness, its sacredness, or 
from fear that I should not receive proper sympathy, being quite young, I know not, but I am per- 
suaded all three had much to do with it. Christians spoke not to me of religion, for which they 
were to blame. I was not communicative. I do remember very distinctly, that on a certain occa- 
sion, I had been weeping under a gospel sermon, when my mother spoke very kindly to me, express- 
ing a hope that I would become a Christian. This greatly encouraged me, and though I spoke not 
a word, yet, there and then, I resolved to seek Jesus at the first opportunity. But I had reached 
my fifteenth year before an occasion offered. I embraced it, and was received on probation in Her- 
ring's chapel, by the Rev. J. C. Thomas, of the North Carolina Conference.'' 

His own account of his entry upon the life of a warrior, hath a smile and a tear in it.' 

"In June, 1864, 1 entered the army, and served as a sergeant in Captain John C. Kerr's company- 
to the close of hostilities. My father wished to have me detailed ; I would not hear to it. I was 
bent on a war record. But I soon became disgusted with a soldier's life ; however I made the best 
of it I could, though I had but little fondness for camp life, and still less for the battlefield, and 
though many were deserting — some officers — yet I had too much honor to shirk duty for a moment. 
Our first service was guard duty at Smithville. "We stood the service much better than the bill of 
fare. The unbolted meal, Nassau bacon, and sorghum molasses sent some to an untimely grave, 
and many more to the hospital. We were next at Port Pisher during General B. P. Butler's un- 
successful attack upon that fort. After a three days bombardment, the gun-boats drew off, having- 
done but little damage. This was a fearful time, and more than one displayed the white feather. 
Again in the spring of '65, we were in an engagement near Kingston. Here we charged General 
Terry's forces in our front, and drove them back." 

His career as a soldier closed with the surrender of Johnson. "And thus ended the war and 
my military aspirations." After the war he both taught school and attended school. In the mean- 
time the call to the ministry which he had been endeavoring to hush, grew louder. He gathered 
his little store of money, and spent a year at Randolph Macon. His means gave out. He taught 



METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, SOUTH. 179 

school a while, and spent his earnings at the college. He was licensed to preach. He tells of his 
" first effort." 

"Brother J. R. Waggoner was in charge of Hanover circuit ; he got me to aid him in a meeting 
at St. Peter's. I will not forget that first effort, nor will some of that congregation. I started off 
at a fair speed, but soon things got a little foggy. I floundered around and looked f oolish, fell back 
on some notes I had with me. Then I tried to wind up with an exhortation, but finding that it 
was no go, I closed in confusion and shame to find to my consternation Brother Waggener, fast 
asleep ; after pinching and shaking, T succeeded in rousing him from his slumbers, he rubbed his 
eyes, started a tune and then exhorted. I felt a little relieved by his talk, for I perceived that he 
had not lost the subject of the discourse. In fact I have flattered myself since, at having made 
such an impression on a sleeping man." 

By dint of close economy he was enabled to continue at the college, until he graduated in bib- 
lical literature and moral philosophy. 

He assisted on the Middlesex circuit till the Conference held in Elizabeth City, when he was re- 
ceived on trial. He gives an account of the trip to that city. 

" On that never-to-be-forgotten journey, from Norfolk to the seat of Conference, I was struck 
with the patient spirit of the Methodist ministry. We were forced to take passage on a boat of a 
mean kind, which had shabby accommodations for not more than two dozen persons. More than 
a hundred were jammed and wedged into this little boat. The water was low in the canal. She 
tugged and blowed all day, and till twelve at night, and yet these faithful soldiers of the Cross, 
smoked and joked and laughed, and seemed to enjoy the whole thing as a matter of course. I 
chafed, and began to doubt whether I could adapt myself to the itinerancy." 

He was assigned to Patrick circuit, and got there before the news of his appointment. He re- 
presents his blunders as many, the people patient, and the year very long. The Lord, however, 
blessed the church. He was next sent to West Charlotte, with good success in building new churcheSj 
and repairing old ones. The membership increased. In the ensuing Conference, he was moved to 
Charlotte circuit ; church building and revival followed. At the Conference in Lynchburg, he was 
sent to Berlin. He witnessed the stirring class meetings of that section. They were very moving. 
He had success His appointment now is the South of Dan. 

Mr. Herring will be thirty-four, the 2nd of next October. He is the son of Samuel and Annie 
Herring. He is about medium size, and not stout. There is great continence of conversation. 
He is dry as a chip, but if there is not true courage, hard sense, and subtle humor in that dessi- 
cated North Carolinian, then our judgment is not worth a button. 



180 SKETCHES OF THE VIRGINIA CONFERENCE, 



Rev. Charles Henry Green. 

MR. GBEEN is a native of Matthews county, and entered Conference in 1873. He served King 
William for four years. His health has been infirm for some time, thus making full work im- 
possible. He has again taken the field, and was appointed to Wicomico circuit in November, 1879. 
He is a preacher of the noblest spirit, ready for every gobd word and work. The brethren value him 
for his ardent zeal, pure life, and success. 



Rev. Herbert Meredith Hope. 



"B. HOPE is conceded on all hands to be on the high road to marked excellence in the pulpit, 
and in conducting church affairs. He has a fine head, intellectual face, and a prime assort- 



M 1 

ment of mother wit. He is a very " clubable" person. A bright and genial preacher is Herbert 
Hope. 

He is the son of William M. and Virginia P. Hope, and was born in Portsmouth, Virginia, No- 
vember 23, 1849. He begun his education at the Virginia Collegiate Institute, Portsmouth, and 
continued it for four years, at Eandolph Macon College, while Dr. Duncan was President. There 
he graduated in several of the schools, and received debater's medal from the Washington Society. 
He was converted in 1868, and joined old " Dinwiddie-street " church, now Monumental, while Eev. 
James L. Fisher was pastor. He was licensed to preach by Hanover Quarterly Conference in 1871. 
He was recommended by the Quarterly Conference of Monumental church, Portsmouth, for admis- 
sion into the Annual Conference, and was received on trial at Norfolk in 1873. He was ordained 
deacon by Bishop McTyeire, at Danville, in November, 1875, and Elder by Bishop Doggett, at Lynch 
burg, November, 1877. 

The year he joined Conference he was sent to Culpeper station, where he had been for several 
months employed by the Elder to fill a vacancy caused by the transfer of Eev. John Harmon to the 
Baltimore Conference. The next year he was sent to Cambridge, Maryland, where he remained one 
year, then he was assigned to Amherst circuit, where he stayed two years. It was at the beginning 
of his ministry in Amherst, that, December 8, 1879, he was married to Miss Emma Vinton, of Cam- 
bridge, Maryland ; from Amherst he was sent to Gordonsville and Orange where he has been for two 



METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, SOUTH. 18 X 



Rev. John Harvey Kabler. 

r M HE name originally was Kobler, and smacks of German origin. Kabler is of old Methodist 
_L fame. The Revs. John and Frederick Kobler were pioneer preachers in the western wilds. 
They were kinsmen of our Kabler. There is much of their old solidity and zeal in our brother. 
He gave his service first to his country, not begrudging his blood, and then entered the ranks of the 
church, where his devotion and labor have met with the reward of success and admiration. He 
was under Stonewall. He surrendered with the "immortals" at Appomattox. It is well understood 
that the Conference can reckon on Kabler as doing always full duty. He has proofs from heaven of 
his call — converts mark his minstry, and his own heart leaps for joy. 

His parents were Harvey and Nancy Smith Kabler. Our preacher, was born in Bedford county, 
Virginia. His father was born near Leeksville, North Carolina, and lived there until he was twen- 
ty-one years of age, when he went to Bedford and settled. John H. Kabler, was the 
seventh son, and when about ten years old, his parents moved and settled in Campbell county, Vir 
ginia, where they lived and died in the triumphs of the faith. Being a member of a large house- 
hold, and his parents in moderate circumstances, he was denied many educational advantages, and 
besides, the war coming on just at that time of life, when he might have stored his mind with know- 
ledge, he was called to arms in the defence of his country. He entered the Confederate service in 
February, 1862, and remained at his post until the surrender at Appomattox Courthouse, in April, 
1865. He was wounded twice, once at the battle of Gettysburg, below the right hip, and again 
near the close, at Sailor's Creek, slightly on the right hand. 

When about fourteen years old, under the ministry of Bev. J. D. Lumsden, at Wesleybury church, 
Campbell circuit, he was converted to God, and joined the Methodist church ; he felt it his duty to 
preach from the first of his Christian life, and even before. When quite small he would assemble 
the children of the neighborhood and preach to them. After his conversion, he struggled much 
and long against the call, and since the close of the war he went to Kentucky and spent two years 
in Hardin county, then moved to Spencer county ; while there he opened his heart to the preacher 
of that circuit, Bev. W. T. Bentine, by whose aid he entered, in September, 1870, the Kentucky 
Wesleyan College, and spent two years at this institution. In June 29th, 1872, he was licensed as 
a local preacher, on Taylorsville circuit, by Bev. T. N. Balston, Presiding Elder, of Shelbyville dis- 
trict, Kentucky Conference. During the year 1872, he taught school and preached occasionally. He 
was anxious to enter the itineracy, and to cast his lot with his native State — he, therefore, July, 
1873. returned to Virginia, and in the following November, at the session of the Virginia Con- 
ference, held at Norfolk, he was admitted on trial into the travelling connection, and from that Con- 
ference was sent to the Leesville Mission. While here doubts arose about his call to the ministry, and 
hard was the struggle, and at one time during the year he made up his mind to abandon the minis- 
try, and to inform his Presiding Elder, (H. B. Cowles), of the fact, when he came round again ; but, 
before that time Mr. Kabler had much success in revivals, and was greatly encouraged to continue; 



182 SKETCHES OF TEE VIRGINIA CONFERENCE, 

in the work. At the Conference, 1874, he was appointed to the Orange circuit. In 1875 he was 
received into full connection, and ordained deacon by Bishop McTyeire, and was sent to Goochland 
circuit, travelling there two years ; and at the Conference of 1877, held in Lynchburg, was ordained 
elder by Bishop Doggett, and sent to Mount Pleasant circuit, and in 1878 was returned to- same 
circuit, where he is now laboring for the cause of Christ. 



Rev. John Hocker Patteson. 

11HE high forehead of Mr. Patteson would lead even a casual observer to reckon him a man of 
. excellent parts. It would not be a mistake. He is a severe student, a growing intellect, and 
a brilliant preacher. His close attention to his library has cost him something of his health. He 
is slender and far from robustness. The ethereal fire is on a hearth of stubble. There is a field for 
his genius in the upper heights if' disease does not droop those splendid pinions. 

He is the son of- Bob'ert and Margaret Prevost Patteson, and was born in Buckingham county, 
Va., January 16, 1847. His paternal grandfather, Charles Patteson, was of English descent, and 
his grandfather on the mother's side, Adam Hocker, though a Pennsylvarian by birth, was of German 
parentage. The parencs of Mr. Patteson designed him for the medical profession, and they were, 
therefore, anxious that he should have the advantages of a good education. After he had received 
such educational training as could be gotten in the common schools of his neighborhood he was 
sent, in January, 1864, to Trinity College, N. C. At this College he expected to stay until he should 
graduate. This expectation was disappointed by the exigencies of the war, which was then going 
on between the States. Some time during the year 1864 the Confederate Congress passed an act 
requiring all persons between the ages of seventeen and sixty to enter the military service of the 
Confederacy, and he had to forsake the drill of the College for that of the camp. He left Trinity 
College about the last of September, 1864. Some time after this he joined the 37th battalion of 
Virginia cavalry, in which he served until after the evacuation of Petersburg by the Confederate 
forces. His father died August 12, 1864, and at the close of the war, in consequence of the aboli- 
tion of slavery, his mother, whose- property consisted almost entirely of negroes, was left in very 
straitened circumstances. Mr. Patteson, his mother, sister and three brothers, after the war, had 
scarcely any property at all, save about three hundred acres of land. It was plain, therefore, that 
his further education depended wholly on his own resources. Those who would have helped him, 
were now not able to do so. Of monetary resources he was wholly destitute ; but the resources of 
youth, health, will and hope were his, and, without stopping to count the cost, he resolved to try 
to carry out the long-cherished intention to enter the medical profession. Accordingly, a year or so 
after the war was over, he began the study of medicine with Dr. T. D. Shelton, of "Warren, Albemarle 
county, Va. After studying with him for, perhaps, two years, Mr, Patteson found it impracticable tq 



METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, SOUTH. 183 

get the amount of money needed to pay the expenses of a necessary attendance" on some medical 
college, and, therefore, he had to give up the hope of becoming a Doctor of Medicine. 

A little while before this hope of his boyhood had thus to be abandoned, he was converted in 
Centenary church, Buckingham county, during a protracted meeting conducted by Eev. James E. 
McSparran, of the Virginia Conference. This was in the summer or autumn of 1868. The fol- 
lowing year he was received into the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, on the Buckingham cir- 
cuit, by Rev. Robert B. Beadles, of the Virginia Conference. Almost from the moment of his con- 
version he was impressed with the thought that it was his duty to preach the gospel ; and, while he 
was willing to undertake the discharge of that duty, for reasons, that then seemed satisfactory to 
him, he determined to postpone entering upon the work of the ministry until after he. had secured 
his medical diploma. That diploma, as before stated, he never obtained. Soon after he had found 
that it was impracticable to get the money needed to prosecute to graduation his studies in medi- 
cine, Captain Camm Patteson, attorney-at law, of Buckingham county, generously offered him the 
use of his law library and the benefit of instruction from himself as a gratuity, if he would turn 
his attention to the study of law. He gladly and at once accepted his kind offer, and entered im- 
mediately upon the study of the law. This was in January, 1869. In October of the same year he 
was licensed to practice law in all the courts of the Commonwealth of Virginia, and in November 
he was admitted to the Buckingham bar. He pursued the practice of the law in Buckingham and 
adjoining counties until after the death of his mother, in 1871. In the fall of this year he moved 
to the city of Lynchburg, Va., and there practiced his profession until the autumn of 1873. During 
this year the impression that it was his duty to preach the gospel came back to him, if, indeed, it 
had ever left him entirely, and fixed itself on his mind as a duty so imperative that he felt he must 
preach or be lost. A sore bereavement that befel him this year did much to fasten this impression 
on his mind. After no little mental struggle he determined to yield to this impression and offer 
himself to his church for the work of the ministry. Accordingly, after consulting with some of his 
brethren, he applied to the Quarterly Conference of Centenary station, Lynchburg, for license to 
preach, and for recommendation for admission, on trial, into the Virginia Annual Conference, both 
of which were granted. This was in September or October, 1873 ; and at the next Annual Con- 
ference, which was held in November of this year in Norfolk, he was received on trial and appointed 
to the Lynchburg mission. At the Conference of 1874 he was sent to Ashland, and at the Con- 
ference of 1875 he was appointed to Cambridge, Maryland. In 1879, he was assigned to North 
Danville. He has been married three times. 



184 SKETCHES OF THE VIRGINIA CONFERENCE, 



Rev. Lewis Bond Betty. 

THE Presiding Elders are eager to secure Lewis Betty. He unites the gravity and discretion of 
age to the freshness and vivacity of youth. He is prudent, quick, tireless, and a preacher of 
weight and brilliancy. The marrow of the gospel is served. He is free from the faults that come 
of popularity to boys in the ministry. There is an old head on young shoulders. A noble heart 
guides to the highest and purest deeds. He studies to show himself approved. He knows the 
genus of work. 

Eichmond is his native city. He was born here on the 3d of February, 1853. His parents, 
George L. and Martha B. Betty, were both devoted and staunch Methodists, and were connected 
at different times during their lives with the following churches in the city of Richmond, viz : 
Trinity, Centenary, Clay street, and Sidney (now Park Place). His early education was received 
in Richmond, and principally at the English and Classical School of S. T. Pendleton, Esq. 

He was converted in the spring of 1868, at the Sidney Baptist church, under the ministry of 
Rev. Mr. Massie, and united with the Sidney Methodist church, then under the pastoral care of 
Rev. Robert A. Armistead. In December, 1872, he was licensed as a local preacher by the Quar- 
terly Conference of Sidney church, and was sent that year, by Rev. L. M. Lee, D. D., Presiding 
Elder of Richmond district, to the Gloucester circuit, Virginia Conference, as junior preacher, under 
Rev. James C. Martin. He was employed by the Presiding Elder of the district as junior preacher 
on this circuit for three consecutive years. In November, 1875, he joined the Virginia Annual Con- 
ference, which held its session that year in Danville, Va., and was returned by Bishop McTyeire, as 
junior preacher, to the Gloucester circuit for the fourth consecutive year. Two of the four years 
he spent on the Gloucester circuit were spent as an assistant to Rev. James C. Martin, and the other 
tyo as an assistant to Rev. Oscar Littleton. His ministry on this circuit was attended with very 
great spiritual pleasure and profit to himself, and with a degree of success in winning souls for 
Christ. In November, 1876, he was appointed to Charles City circuit, Richmond district, as preacher 
in charge, where he is now stationed and where he is spending his fourth year. 

One remarkable fact in connection with Mr. Betty's ministry in Charles City ought to be men- 
tioned, as it furnishes an evidence of the mysterious ways of Providence, and shows very clearly 
and beautifully how God directs and governs all things, and makes them subserve to promote the 
interests of his Church : Mr. Betty is preaching in his mother's native county, and to some of 
those who played with her in her childhood, and who still revere her memory ; and one of the 
churches of which he has charge is the church in which she sought and found the " pearl of great 
price," and where she held her membership for many years. This fact has endeared him to many 
of the old persons on his circuit, who were friends of his mother, and who have helped to give him 
very decided success at the appointment referred to. Mr. Betty's ministry in Charles City has been 
sanctified to the good of the Church and to his own improvement in spirituality and holiness. 




N- B Foushee 



S H Jolinson 



KARROUN & BIERSTADT M Y. 



METHODIST EPISCOPAL OSUBOE, SOUTH. 185 



Rev. Joshua Soule Hunter. 

HE is the pastor of Centenary church, Lynchburg. He has prime native gifts, and they have 
been improved. He studies choice books. His profiting appears to all. He divides the Word 
rightly and gives each his meat in due season. He has not gotten his growth. His conversion took 
place in 1863. In 1870 he joined the Conference, and was sent to Bedford circuit, where he served 
two years ; the same length of time on Prospect circuit, and four years on Louisa circuit. In No- 
vember, 1878, he was assigned to his present position. His father was Eobert Hunter. His mother's 
maiden name was Paulina A. Slaughter. The preacher's birthplace is Appomattox ; date, August 
26th, 1844. 



Rev. Werter Hancock Gregory. 

11HIS enterprising minister — builder in Zion, whose works praise him in the gates — is a native 
. of Mecklenburg county, Va. He will be thirty-four on the 31st of August, 1880. His father, 
Richard Claiborne Gregory, was a captain in the war of 1812, and served in the General Assembly. 
Mr. Werter Gregory's grandfather was a soldier in the Revolution and a relation of John Hancock. 
The mother of the preacher was a Miss Eliza Twitty Bailey. Mr. Werter Gregory was converted 
under the ministry of the Rev. J. W. Blincoe, in Powhatan, Va., but did not join the church until 
after he entered school at Randolph Macon College, in 1868, and then received by Bro. Jamieson, 
who was the Chaplain. While there he was exercised on the subject of preaching. After leaving 
school he taught awhile. In November, 1871, he was received as an itinerant preacher in the Con- 
ference. His first appointment was Spottsylvania circuit, when he begged f 1,000 in Baltimore and 
some of the principal cities in the Virginia Conference to pay church debts on the circuit. There was 
also money enough raised to build a new church, though the people were in reduced circumstances. 
He was next assigned to Edenton, N. C, and then to Berlin circuit, and to Ettrick, near Petersburg. 
While there the church was enlarged. He is now on Nelson circuit. 

These years have been spent in active and successful service, building up the Church and im- 
proving himself. Personally and as a preacher he is rated rightly as a clever man. 
24 



186 SKETCHES OF fSE VIRGINIA CONFERENCE, 



Rev. William James Twilley. 

FROM the ranks of the juniors, Twilley is a general favorite in the Conference. The true spirit 
of the Methodist preacher is in him. He is lively and clever, but not puffed up. The service 
of God is his chief joy. He makes friends everywhere. Men see the purity of his purpose and 
his wise zeal. He is bright, jovial and devoted. % 

Mr. Twilley was born July 23, 1852, in the village of Upper Trappe, Wicomico county, Md., 
where his mother and sister still reside. His father, Caleb D. Twilley, died November 11th, 1855, 
leaving his mother, Hester A. Twilley, a widow with three children — William the second child and 
only son. He was converted in August, 1870, under the ministry of Rev. J. D. Hank. His father 
was a class-leader, and his mother has long been a faithful Christian. The whole family is strongly 
Methodistic. During the scholastic year of 1871 and 1872 he taught a public school in Wicomico 
county, Md. In September, 1872 he went to Randolph Macon College, where he remained two 
sessions. He was licensed, as a local preacher, at Ashland, by Rev. J. H. Davis, March 24th, 1873. 
Upon his return from College, in July, 1874, he was sent to Berlin circuit by Rev. J. B. Dey, the 
Presiding Elder of the Eastern Shore district, to supply that circuit until Conference. In November, 
1874, he joined the Virginia Conference at Elizabeth City, and was sent to Pocomoke circuit. In 
November, 1875, he was appointed to Essex circuit, where he remained three years. In November, 
1876, he was ordained deacon, and in 1878, elder. In November,' 1878, he was sent to Berlin for 
the second time". He says : " To God I am greatly indebted for a deeply pious mother — one who 
has not only taught me the way wherein I should go, but has gone that way herself. Daily has she, 
during my life, retired to her room, and, on bended knees, read God's Word and prayed to Him as 
the Father of Mercy. Whatever good I may do, ought, under God, to be attributed to the influence 
of my mother in training me for God, and to the faithfulness of Bro. J. D. Hank in laboring to 
bring me to Christ." 



Rev. James Fitts T witty. 

.. TWITTY is a native of North Carolina, born in Warrenton, May 4th, 1848. He is tall, 
slender, and of a grave expression, with the light of friendliness brightening his sedate fea- 
tures. He is absorbed by his calling. He preaches and lives the gospel. He persuades men by the 
gentleness of Christ. He is well furnished with intellectual powers and acquirements for his holy 



w. 



METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, SOUTH. 187 

vocation. He is the brother in-law of the late Dr. James A. Duncan. The great soul of that match- 
less apostle seems to have magnetized the heart of Twitty. He was licensed to preach, at the Wash- 
ington-street church, Petersburg, in March, 1868 ; joined Conference November, 1871 ; deacon, 1872 ; 
elder, 1874. His first appointment was to Powhatan, 1871-72 ; second, Murfreesboro, 1872-'73-'74 ; 
third, Charlottesville, 1874-'75-'76 ; fourth, Farmville, 1876-'77-'78-'79-'80. 



Rev. John Emory DeShazo. 

IT requires no gift of prophecy to predict the future of DeShazo. God has chosen him to do no 
ordinary work. He has endowed him with a compact, muscular, robust frame, a capacious head, 
pleasing features and courage. He has a sweet and powerful voice. He has consecration, activity and 
boldness for the truth. A stout champion for God, is DeShazo. He was born in a section of the 
Commonwealth that has given many men of high renown to the country. He is a native of King 
and Queen. On the 23d of August he will be thirty. His parents were Charles H. and Mary 
DeShazo. 

During his childhood his parents moved to Southside Virginia, and settled down finally in Din- 
widdie county, where he was brought up. His maternal grand parents were among the earliest 
Methodists of Eastern Virginia. His mother, until her death hi 1863, continued to hold her mem- 
bership at old Shepherd's church in King and Queen. His paternal grandmother was of the Baptist 
faith ; and held her .membership at Bruington church, in the same county, until her death. How and 
when he received his early religious impressions he cannot tell. Perhaps he is largely indebted to 
a godly grandmother for them ; amongst his earliest recollections is that of attending church and 
Sunday-school in company with his father, who was not then a Christian, though he was very care- 
ful to throw around his children every moral restraint. 

After coming to Dinwiddie, young DeShazo became connected with the Sunday-school at Trin- 
ity church, at which he was a regular attendant until he entered the ministry. Here, with that 
godly man, Col. Thomas B. Hamlin, for his Sunday-school superintendent and teacher, his religious 
nature was rapidly developed. Often with only the boy for an auditor did that faithful man of God 
strive to unfold the beauties of God's word, nor were his labors in vain. Another devout Methodist 
contributed also to the awakening of the youth in the class-meeting, which has always been kept up in 
that church once a month. This person was old Bro. Wyatt Williams. These simple words, solemn- 
ly uttered in the class-meeting by that venerable saint : "I thank God I am not tired of serving 
Bim," made an impression upon the young hearer he will never forget. He has always declared 
that it was the most eloquent sermon he ever has heard. 

In August, J 868, at a protracted meeting at Trinity, under the ministry of Bev. Jacob H. Proc- 
tor, these influences culminated in his conversion to God, and addition to the church. The Bev. 
Mr. Jefferson, a local preacher of Petersburg, who was assisting in the meeting, was explaining some 



188 SKETCHES OF THE VIRGINIA CONFERENCE, 

precious promise as DeShazo experienced " the peace of God." His conversion was not bright, but 
unmistakeable. Owing to some obstacle in the way of the preacher, he was not'baptized until the 
following year, and then by Rev. John M. Saunders, who received him into full membership. From 
his conversion he gave promise of usefulness to the church. He was regular in his attendance on 
Sunday-school and class-meeting, and soon began to pray in public, and to speak in the meetings. 
Soon his mind began to be exercised in regard to entering the ministry, but his education was de- 
fective, and he hesitated. At length after accumulating a few hundred dollars by patient toil, by 
the advice and godly counsel of Brother Hamlin, he entered Randolph Macon College, February, 
1872, with the purpose of fitting himself to serve the church. As was the custom among the reli- 
gious students of the institution, he transferred his membership to the college chapel, and on March 
24th, 1873, at the second quarterly meeting in Randolph Macon district, held at Ashland, he was 
licensed to preach. His license was signed " J. H. Davis, Presiding Elder, William H. Shepard, 
Secretary." While at college his Sundays were mostly spent in preaching and teaching in the coun- 
try around the college. For two sessions he superintended a Sunday-school at Independence church, 
(then) of Hanover circuit, two and a half miles from the college. He frequently walked from seven 
to ten miles out into country to preach at some of the churches — as Lebanon, Forest Grove, Green- 
wood, &c. His first sermon was at Shady Grove church, on Hanover circuit. His vacations were 
spent on the large circuits by request of the preachers in charge and appointment of the Presiding 
Elders. The vacation of 1873 was passed on Franklin circuit, then in charge of Rev. D. F. Hodges, 
and having eighteen appointments. He will always bless the example and influence, and ministry 
of that saintly man ; and love the people who loved and bore with the "boy preacher." At the 
close of the college session of 1874, he was sent by Rev. D. 'P. Wills, the then Presiding Elder of 
Richmond district, to assist Rev. W. G. Williams in Charles City and Henrico circuit, where under the 
fatherly control and godly direction of that good man he began to make proof of his ministry, and 
win the hearts of the people. Having gained a warm place in the affections of the church — espe- 
cially in the Charles City portion of the circuit, he was at the request of the pastor Bro. Williams, 
again sent to this circuit to spend the vacation of 1875. During the summer and fall, in conjunc_ 
tion with the pastor, his labors were blessed and owned of God. He will always thank God for 
casting his lot with this man of God, and this excellent people. At the last quarterly Conference 
for this circuit, held at Charles City chapel, after the usual examination, he was recommended to 
the Annual Conference for admission into the travelling connection, and was admitted on trial at 
the Conference for this year, held in Danville, Virginia. 

He was appointed to Patrick circuit, where he served four years, and in November, 1879 he wag 
sent to Franklin circuit. 



METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCS, SOUTH, 189 



Rev. William Wilkinson Lear. 

THERE is both depth of soil and judicious cultivation. The elements of a solid and true man- 
hood were born in him. They are in his parents. He is not deficient in intellectual endow- 
ments. He has redeemed the time for study. There are outgivings in his sermons of a well- con- 
ditioned mind in excellent exercise. He has the Ungual gift. He speaks to the point, and well. 
Success has crowned his wise work. 

He is the son of Rev. Joseph Lear, of the Virginia Conference, and of Susan S. Lear, and was 
born in New Kent county, on the 5th of December, 1844. 

In December, 1861, he was sent to Randolph Macon College, where he spent the remainder of 
that session. The following year, while at Roanoke College, Salem, Va., he professed religion and 
joined the church. Early in the session, however, he left college, and soon after this, enlisted 
in the Confederate States army, as private in the 3d Company Richmond Howitzers. Although he 
was with this company in all its after battles, until it surrendered with the Army of Northern Vir- 
ginia, he escaped unhurt, with the exception of a slight wound in the head, received in the battle 
of 10th May, 1864, at Spottsylvania Courthouse. On leaving the army he went first to Richmond, 
and soon after to Bedford county, where his father was then stationed as preacher in charge of 
South Staunton circuit. The following year, and for several years thereafter, he engaged in secular 
pursuits. 

But from the time of his conversion, he had been impressed with the conviction that he ought 
to preach, and was kept from so doing only by a felt lack of intellectual fitness for the work, and 
because he was without money to pay for schooling. Unable to rid his mind entirely of the thought 
that God had called him to preach, he made the issue of this question to depend upon his ability, 
or non-ability to secure an education ; and only after an absence of ten years, did he again, (in the 
Pall of 1872), enter Randolph Macon College, this time to study for the ministry. 

Here, on the 17th day of January, 1874, he was licensed to preach. He remained at college 
until the close of the session in 1875, and then went, by invitation of the Quarterly Conference of 
Albemarle circuit, to help Rev. R. W. Watts, their preacher in charge, until the Annual Conference 
should meet. 

In November of that year, he was received on trial into the Virginia Annual Conference, then 
being held at Danville, Va., and was, by Bishop McTyeire, assigned to Spottsylvania circuit. In 
1876, he was sent to Prince George circuit. In 1877, he was ordained deacon by Bishop Doggett, 
and returned to the same work. In 1878, he was advanced to the class of the fourth year, and for 
the third and fourth he was re assigned to Prince George circuit, where he is now, 



190 SKETCHES OF THE VIRGINIA CONFERENCE, 



M 



Rev. William Wooldridge Royall. 

B. BOYALL, we should think, draws the beam beyond two hundred. The body is not out of 

proportion to the capital crowning it. The head would please the eye of a phrenologist. 
Boyall has brains. There is no scantiness of enterprise. He doesn't back out from an obstacle. He 
traveled his first circuit on foot, letting no grass grow in his tracks. The fat fellow is jolly, quick 
and witty in reply ; at home on his legs, and a tip top preacher. He will do thorough work in China. 

He is the son of Dr. Samuel II. and Adelaide P. Boyall, and was born in Chesterfield county, 
Va., August 7th, 1851. His father was a native of Charles City county, and his mother, who was a 
native of Goochland county, was the daughter of Marianna Pleasants, sister of John Hampden and 
Hugh Eose Pleasants. The name, spelled, perhaps, originally Eoyale, is of Norman French origin. 
Dr. Boyall was not only an earnest and pious Christian, but a local Methodist preacher of great 
influence and usefulness, who raised a large family of children in the fear of the Lord. 

The subject of this sketch was early impressed, by his godly mother, with the vast importance 
of saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and the things of religion impressed him deeply while yet 
a child. He clearly remembers the impression produced by a sermon, heard in his sixth year, by 
Bev. John D. Blackwell on the text, "Pear not them that kill the body," &c. At the age of sixteen 
he made a public acknowledgment of his desire to be saved, by presenting himself for the prayers 
of God's people, at a protracted meeting in Nottoway county. Though not making, at that time, 
a profession of religion, he continued to seek earnestly for pardon and the witness of the Spirit, 
until he was satisfied that he was born again. In 1869 he went from Virginia to Alabama as an 
assistant to his eldest brother, in teaching a school at the capital of the State, Montgomery. Here 
he at once connected himself with the Sunday school of the Methodist church, and became a mem- 
ber of the class taught by the father of Bev. John Hannon, now of New Orleans. Mr. Harmon 
was a good man, and strove earnestly to influence his class for their eternal good. March 20, 1870, 
young Boyall joined the church, under the pastorate of Bev. John Matthews. He soon felt the 
call to preach, but resisted it until his mental sufferings became intense. At length he yielded to 
the call of duty, and March 4th, 1871, he was licensed to preach by the Quarterly Conference of 
Montgomery station, while Dr. Edward Wadsworth was pastor. In November of the same year he 
returned to Virginia, and in September, 1872, entered Bandolph Macon College. Here he spent 
three sessions in earnest and successful study, and left College June, 1875. He was employed at 
once by Bev. D. P. Wills, Presiding Elder of the Eichmond district, to take charge of our interests 
in what was then thought to be the future city of "West Point. Here he remained until November, 
when he joined the Virginia Conference, and was ordained as local deacon by Bishop McTyeire. At 
this Conference he was appointed preacher in charge of the West Point circuit, consisting of the 
church in West Point and two churches on the line of the Bichmond, York Eiver and Chesapeake 
railroad. One of these churches, Providence, was in New Kent county ; the other, Prospect, was 
in Hanover. The church at Prospect was a small shanty, the house having been burned during the 
war by the Federals, A neat new one was erected the first year at this place, and Providence wa^ 



MMTBODIST EPISCOPAL CBURGB, SOUTH. 191 

repaired and painted. The membership was scattered over a tract twelve miles long by five broad. 
This he walked for two years, visiting all the members of his charge, when accessible, from twice 
to six times a year. Eevivals took place, the membership was largely increased, and the contribu- 
tions augmented about eight fold. He was returned to this charge at the Conference of 1876, at 
Richmond. Matters prospered this year also. The new church was completed, paid for, and dedi 
cated. At Lynchburg, in 1877, he was appointed to West Matthews circuit. This, lite West Point, 
was a new circuit, and needed much work. About one hundred persons professed religion this year 
and the contributions largely increased. The new circuit raised more for the Conference and Mis- 
sionary collections than the old one. At the Conference of 1878, in Petersburg, he consented to 
become a missionary to China ; but, though appointed by the Bishop, and accepted by the Board at 
Nashville, for want of funds he was prevented from going, as he expected. He labored at different 
points in the Conference during the year, and in 1879 he was assigned to Guilford and Conquest 
circuit, Accomac. The Missionary Board, in May, 1880, determined to send him to China. He will 
sail in the Autumn of 1881. 



Rev. John Madison Burton, A. M. 

BURTON is a tall son of Anak. He towers, like Saul, above his fellows. His mental altitude 
measures with his inches. Randolph Macon was honored in his diploma. There is first-rate 
brain tissue in that elevated cranium. He is making use of his powers with credit to himself and 
to the gain of the Church. He is modest, withal — a gentleman, and man of culture. The juniors 
are fond of their familiar — genial, noble John Burton. His parishioners cherish him for his fine 

qualities. 

He is the youngest child and only son of Jesse A. Burton and Damaris Burton, and was born 
in Bedford county, Va., June 7th, 1848. He was converted at Court street church, Lynchburg, 
during the winter of 1871, at a protracted meeting conducted by the Rev. L. Rosser, D. D. About 
the middle of March of the same year he entered Randolph Macon College, and graduated with 
the degree of A. M. June, 1876. At the opening of the session of 1876-77 he returned to College 
and taught a part of the classes of Professor Blackwell, who had recently been elected to the chair 
of English, French and German, and had not returned from Europe. He remained at College until 
Professor BlackwelTs return, which occurred just prior to the Conference held at Richmond, in the 
year 1876. At this Conference he was admitted on trial, and appointed to Orange circuit, where he 
remained during the Conference year 1876-77. At the Lynchburg Conference he was appointed to 
Boydton circuit. At the Petersburg Conference he was ordained deacon, and appointed to Cub 
peper, where he is at present. 



192 SKETCHES OF THE VIRGINIA CONFERENCE, 



Rev. William Henry Edwards. 

THE county of Fauquier is the birth place of Mr. Edwards. He was converted soon after th e 
war and connected himself with the Methodist church. "While a student at Bethel Academy, he 
recognized his call to the ministry. He remained at that school three years, and then spent four 
sessions at Randolph Macon College. He joined the Virginia Conference in 1876. 

He has used, to the improvement of himself, his educational opportunities. He is not wanting 
in the natural abilities that lead to success. He is active, guarded, and clear headed. He ex- 
pounds wells. 



Rev. William Edwin Evans. 

THERE is scarcely any surer sign of the sturdier qualities of a man than equipoise in the midst 
of praise. Mr. Evans has had singular popularity among his parishioners. So far, there has 
been no pruning of the gaudy feathers of vanity. He is the same affable, humble, earnest man. 
He will hardly be upset by the gusts of public favor. God has honored his diligent labors. The 
people hear him gladly. There is a transparency of purpose in his face. The goodness of his 
soul shines in his features. He has a smooth, mellow, yet vivid speech in the pulpit. His sermons 
lead to a better life. 

G*P He is a Marylander. Baltimore is his birth-place. He was at an early age dedicated to God 
in baptism. On July 11th, 1880, he was twenty nine years old. He is very youthful in face for 
that age. 

In his native city he spent the years of his boyhood, and for the most part in the home of his 
grand-parents, John W. and Mary Yeatman, his father and mother having died when he was quite 
young. During these years the foundation of his education was laid in the public schools, and in 
private institutions of learning. 

It was not until his seventeenth year that his life evinced any definite devotion to the cause of 
religion, although when eleven years old the death of a dear relative profoundly impressed him, 
and drew from his heart and lips resolutions, which had a salutary and moulding effect upon his 
whole life afterwards. At seventeen, however, he connected himself with the Sunday school at- 
tached to the North Baltimore station, and though always a Sunday-school scholar, he here found, 
in this Southern Methodist school, that influence which turned the current of his life. In this Sun- 



METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, SOUTH, 193 

day-school, one afternoon, the young pastor of the church, Rev. I. W. Canter, placed his hand kind- 
ly on his head and asked, if it were not time that he had given his heart to God. These simple, 
yet momentous words, were the first that had ever been addressed directly to the young man. Con- 
viction of sin and repentance followed these words, and in May, 1868, the young man was converted 
to God, having presented himself for prayer in the public congregation, though no protracted 
meeting prevailed in the church. 

Prom this period we find him engaged in leading class, holding prayer meetings, and active in 
revivals. It was not long after his conversion that he felt inwardly moved to preach the gospel, 
and the church, too, seemed of the same impression. Fostering his convictions, he studied the^ 
ology under the direction of the pastor, Mr. Canter, until the Fall of 1869, when he entered Ran- 
dolph Macon College. He was licensed to preach August 2d, 1870 ; and while at college preached 
frequently in the churches near Ashland, and in private dwellings, holding protracted meetings, 
where many souls were converted. 

In 1872, he presented himself for admission into the Baltimore Conference, but at the earnest 
solicitation of Rev. Dr. Duncan and Rev. A. G. Brown, was immediately transferred to the Virginia 
Conference, and stationed at Cambridge, in Maryland. He was sent to this field the second time, 
but failed to remain until the close of his second year, owing to an affliction of the vocal organs. 
He located and engaged in editing a newspaper and in the pursuit of law studies. His health re- 
covering, he loaged to be in the active work of the ministry, and in the Summer of 1876 was en 
gaged as assistant pastor on King and Queen circuit, which was then supplied by Rev. J. W. Shack- 
ford. During this year great revivals swept through this circuit. Re-entering Conference in 1876, 
he was returned to King and Queen ; and at Lynchburg and Petersburg the same field of labor 
was assigned him. In 1879, he was sent to Bowling Green circuit. 



Rev. Nathan Bangs Foushee. 

THE cognomen, Nathan Bangs, tells of Methodist parentage. Of course Foushee is French. 
The other side of the house is Irish. The Milesian names on the roll of distinguished French 
men, especially in arms, prove the fine qualities that come of the union of the two great peoples. 
Our Foushee hath in him many of these excellent traits. He has admirable groundwork and mate- 
rial for building for years and use. He is not neglecting his gifts. They are not hid in a napkin. 
He was raised on a farm. His father was a good English scholar, and taught the lad. The boy on 
his majority, in 1868, professed religion, under the Rev. E. H. Pritchett, and became a communicant 
in the church. Mr. Foushee has graduated in the whole course, teacher in Sunday-school, superin- 
tendent, exhorter, local preacher, colporteur, employed under the Elder, and so forth. 

On the 8th September, 1874, he made his first attempt to preach. There is no report of the 
25 



194 SKETCHES OF THE VIRGINIA CONFERENCE, 

success or failure. In 1875, assistant preacher on Bappahannock circuit ; employed by Elder on 
Bedford circuit in 1876. In November, admitted into Conference, and sent to Berlin circuit. In 
November, 1877, South Campbell ; November, i878, ordained deacon, and returned to same field. 
Also in 1879. 

Mr. Foushee is a fine worker, good conductor of revivals, and has promise of no inconsidera- 
ble usefulness to the church. He was born in the county of Culpeper, January 30th, 1848. 



Rev. Spottswood Harvey Johnson. 

HE is the son of a Methodist preacher, of honored memory, and long service in the Conference, 
Blassingame H. Johnson. Harvey Johnson was born near Hanover Courthouse, October 8 
1854. His mother's maiden name was Wingfield. She died when he was but nine days old. A 
few hours before her death she gave him to God, praying that he might be a preacher. "When the 
child was two or three years' old it fell sick, and the physicians said there was no hope, the father 
retired to his room and prayed that the infant might live, dedicating it to the Lord, as its mother 
had done. While on his knees he received assurance his prayers were heard, and would be an- 
swered. Beturning to the sick-room, he told the physicians it would recover. They said in reply, 
"If it gets well it will be a miracle." He firmly believed the boy would grow to man's estate, and 
become a minister. 

He was converted August 18th, 1869, at a meeting conducted by his father, assisted by Bev. 
Nat. Thomas, at Sardis, Mecklenburg county. His first leadings towards the ministry were in 1871. 
He resisted. He moVed away from Mecklenburg to rid his mind of the convictions. This was in 

1875. The call was louder and threatening — preach or woe. He says the sufferings from 1871 to 

1876, while he hesitated, were fearful. 

He was licensed at a Quarterly Conference at Shady Grove, Hanover, in 1876, and attempted 
to preach in October of the same year. He was received on trial in November, 1876, and sent as 
helper to Gates circuit, N. C. ; but in September, 1877, was removed to Hertford circuit, by the Elder. 
At the Conference of 1877, he was assigned to Bertie circuit. In 1878, ordained deacon and sent 
to Gloucester, as junior preacher. He is now serving West Goochland. 

He attended different schools, and Bandolph Macon for a short time. Mr. Johnson has supe- 
rior mental endowment, and Is remarkable for his sound sense in exposition, his discretion and deep 
devotion to his calling. 



METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, SOUTH. 195 



Rev. Junius Bynum DeBerry. 

THE bustlings and battles of the late war, in which DeBerry was a soldier from first to last, never 
vitiated the innate principles of the modest and brave gentleman. He was not a Christian, but 
he bore himself with simple dignity in the rugged path of duty in camp, on the field, and in the 
prison. He has that unostentatious worth that so often adorns, with its rare and sober virtue, the 
North Carolinian in public life. While DeBerry is saying, "I am less than least of all saints," his 
brethren hold in just honor the unstained Christian life, the unstinted labor, and the rich fruits of 
their comrade in Christ. His quiet virtues and earnest zeal remind us of the saintly qualities of 
the holy men in mediaeval times, whom the Church has worthily honored by praise. He is a living 
witness to Christ. 

He is the son of Henry and Frances Ann DeBerry, and was born in Northampton county, N. 
C, on the 20th of November, 1834. His mother is. a native of Southampton county, Va., and his 
father died when he was about ten years of age. He received the rudiments of an education in the 
common district schools of that day, until about the age of fifteen, when he was sent to a board- 
ing-school, where he was prepared to enter the Freshman class at the University of his native State, 
in the year 1853, at the age of eighteen. Here he spent four years. After completing the regular 
course at Chapel Hill, he returned home, and passed the years intervening between that period and 
the late war on a farm. At the beginning of hostilities he enlisted as a private in the regiment then 
known as tlje 5th (afterwards 15th) North Carolina volunteers, and spent the first year on the Pe- 
ninsula, under the command of Gen. John B. Magruder. About the time of the evacuation of that 
section, he was promoted to the first lieutenancy of company D, 54th North Carolina regiment, and 
transferred to the Army of Northern Virginia, Hood's division, Dongstreet's corps. He was sub 
sequently promoted to the captaincy, and his command, then composing a part of Hoke's brigade, 
was attached to Early's division, Jackson's corps. At the battle of Chancellorsville he was captured 
in the last charge, and spent eighteen days in the Old Capitol prison. At the expiration of that 
time he was exchanged, and rejoined his command, and in November, 1863, was captured with his 
whole brigade, at Rappahannock bridge, and sent to Johnson's Island, where he remained until the 
close of the war. 

He was released from that prison on the 13th of June, 1865, and arrived at home on the 22nd. 
Here he spent a quiet life, attending to his mother's affairs. He was married on the 6th of February, 
1868, to Miss Fannie S. Bryant, of the same county. He then devoted himself to the business of 
teaching, which he followed until his admission into the Virginia Conference. He first became ex- 
ercised on the subject of his salvation in the year 1871, and went to the altar as a seeker, but found 
no peace or comfort, except that arising from having made an effort in the right direction. This 
state of mind continued over twelve months, when, at a protracted meeting, commenced on the third 
Sunday in September, 1872, at Sharon, in his native county, by Rev. B. F. Tennille, preacher in charge, 
assisted by Rev. William B. Rowzie, he again presented himself at the altar for prayer; and, 
on Thursday night, the 25th, while lying on his bed, about midnight, he experienced that "strange 



196 SKETCHES OF *T3E tl^GtNlA COtiFEREftCE, 

■warming of the heart," spoken of by Mr. Wesley, and felt that God, for Christ's sake, had pardoned 
his sins. He went to the church on the next day, and made a public profession, and on the fol- 
lowing day took the vows and assumed the obligations of the Christian profession, and was received 
into the communion of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. On the 9th day of November f ol 
lowing, at a Quarterly Conference held at Fidelity church, and presided over by Rev. B. F. Tennille, 
he was licensed as a local preacher. He was advised, by his church, preacher in-charge, and Pre- 
siding Elder, to apply to the ensuing Annual Conference for admission into the traveling connection ; 
but, while this desire was uppermost in his heart, he shrank from it, fearing lest he might mistake 
this desire for the voice of God ; and this he did for four years, still pursuing his business of teach- 
ing, and exercising, irregularly, his functions in the local relation, and occasionally assisting in the re- 
vivals until 1876. Then, with the view of applying for admission into the Virginia Conference, he took 
regular work, and labored in nearly all the revivals on the circuit during that year. At the annual 
session of the Virginia Conference, in November of that year, he was ordained a deacon, and, at the 
same time, applied for and received admission into the traveling connection, and was appointed to 
the charge of the Richmond circuit, in what was then the Northern Neck district. In 1879, he was 
appointed to his present field, Currituck. 



Rev. Robert Hobson Younger. 

HE is a native of Pittsylvania. The head of the family was Marcus Younger, of the Peninsula, 
and a soldier of the Revolution. The parents of our preacher are devout members of the 
Methodist Church A pious mother taught her son the ways of the Lord. In 1869, at a noted 
revival at Zion's chapel, on the Bannister circuit, he professed religion. Soon God called him to 
the ministry, but he hesitated before its magnitude and responsibility until August, 1873, when he 
was licensed to preach. He entered Randolph Macon College in September of the same year, and 
remained until June, 1876. He represented his Society in the public debate. In November, 1876, 
he was admitted, on trial, into the Conference, and sent to East Franklin circuit. In 1879 he was 
assigned to Middle Bedford. There is alertness, energy and victory in this junior. Withal, he has 
the root of the matter in him — consecration. 



ktitaoDisf kpiscopAL cHtmctt, soWti. iQy 



Rev. Andrew Jackson Bradshaw. 

HE was born in Lunenburg county, April 14th, 1851. He had the advantages of Sabbath-schools 
and the training of a pious mother. He received education in the neighborhood schools, and 
entered Randolph Macon in the Autumn of 1872, and remained five sessions. He was converted in 
his seventeenth year, under the ministry of Rev. J. L. Garrett. His first drawings towards the 
ministry were shortly after his conversion, but were not yielded to until he entered College. In the 
spring of 1877, he was licensed to preach, and in November of the same year, joined the Conference. 
He was sent as a junior to South Bedford, and returned by the next Conference. He is a scrupu- 
lous Christian, a careful sermonizer, a student, and has the manners of a gentleman. He is now 
serving Clover Hill circuit. 



Rev. Bernard Farrar Lipscomb. 

1 T will seem singular that this preacher has had, for nearly four years, his whole Conference life, 
JL but one appointment. He was assigned to Queen Street, Norfolk, when he joined the body. 
He is pastor of that charge now. It will be more surprising, when it is known that Queen Street 
was a new station. The Elders, departed from the custom of the fathers, for good and satisfac 
tory reasons. They knew Lipscomb. To get a capital preacher — "a light man" as the phrase is, not 
burdensome to a young church, and to get a longheaded one too — ah, there was the rub. It is likely 
there was but one in the body. They never gave him up, working him to the last limit of the law. 
A prime preacher at Queen Street would have done well, but to have brought the church to its pres- 
ent solid success, required a first rate sermonizer to hold and augment the congregation; a diplo- 
mat to keep the old churches in good humor, while their members were gently escorted to the new 
house ; a man of affairs to draw in fresh material, and to cement the new elements and carry forward 
a young enterprise. For a junior to prepare discourses to the same audience for four years is the 
task of Hercules. Superadd the pastoral work and the management of the callow church, and it 
puts to proof the best ability. The coming Conference will close on a peerless triumph in Nor 
folk. And he is a hard student withal. 

He is the son of Cornelius and Pocahontas Lipscomb, and was born in the city of Richmond, 
on the 16th of February, 1851. His early education was received at the Jefferson Male Academy, 
in that city— Rev. C. W. Petherbridge, principal. 



J9| SKETCHES OF THE VIRGINIA CONFERENCE, 

Leaving school at an early age in consequence of ill-health, he engaged in mercantile pursuits, 
and subsequently filled the position of book keeper in the State Bank of Virginia. Bealizing, how- 
ever, a divine call to the work of the ministry, he resigned that position in September, 1874, and 
entered Kandolph Macon College. Here he spent two years in the study of languages and me- 
taphysics under those accomplished educators — Professors Thomas B. Price and James A. Harri- 
son, and the now glorified Dr. Duncan. He was licensed to preach, September 28th, 1874, by the 
Quarterly Conference of Trinity station, Bichmond, of which church he was then a member. "While 
at college, he filled regular appointments at Greenwood and Shady Grove churches, on the Hanover 
circuit. In November, 1876, he was received on trial by the Virginia Conference, and appointed to 
Queen Street station, a charge, then in process of organization, in the city of Norfolk. To this work 
he was re-appointed in 1877-'78-'79. * 



Rev. William Overton Waggener. 

HE is the son of Bev. J. B. Waggener, and Was born and raised in the itinerancy. He, however, 
, counts Hanover circuit as his birth place, and dates his age from the 3rd of August, 1855. The 
preacher's son has the best school to bring out his wits. It has brought young Waggener 's metal 
to a keen edge. He is bright, quick and indefatigable. From the start he has kept a brisk pace, 
which grows into a steady gait. His preaching brings a houseful of hearers, and the number of 
converts testifies to his power in the pulpit He has wrought wel?. The papers have published ex 
tracts from his discourses. 

He joined the church while a student at Bandolph Macon, in 1873. He read law a year, but 
gave it .up when called to the ministry. He was licensed as local preacher in April, 1876. He be 
gan to use his gift on Cumberland circuit, until the Conference in November. He was then admit 
ted to-'the Conference, and sent as junior to Hertford. In 1877, he was assigned to Burkeville 
and returned in 1878. In 1879, sent to Boydton. 



METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, SOUTH. ^ 



Rev. Joseph Thomas Mastin. ■ 

HE is a native of. Spottsylvania county, though raised in Culpeper. He was twenty five last May, 
(2nd). His bodily presence, unlike Paul's, is far from insignificent. He has a fine head, and 
is served by a well formed frame. The energy and spirit of the apostolic vocation finds a noble ex- 
ample in him. He was converted in August, 1867; entered Bandolph Macon, 1873 ; licensed, 1875, 
and employed by the Elder on Culpeper circuit, from April, 1876, till Conference, in November, and 
then received on trial. He was sent in charge of Woodville circuit. In 1877, assigned to Orange 
and returned in 1878 ; ordained deacon in 1878. 



Rev. Nathaniel James Pruden. 

TIIHERE is a curious page in the religious history, of Mr. Pruden. He is, to all appearance, the 
X best specimen of soberness of temper in the Conference. And yet his conviction of sin dates 
from a great gust of uncontrolled rage. He was not led to repentance by preaching or reading the 
Bible, or exhortation of friends. One day, on the farm, he got into a cyclone of wrath. Sudden ter- 
ror seized him. The horror of his sin took hold upon him. A " something" rebuked him almost in 
words. He made a vow to change his life, and kept it. He began to read the Bible and more often 
to attend church. He sought forgiveness for a year in great bitterness. Light and }oy came, first 
in morning twilight, and then in meridian fullness. Following this, was the earnest desire to preach, 
accompanied with a certain diffidence. 

The war had interfered with his education. 'He went to Bandolph Macon for two or three 
years, beginning on the 25th February, 1873, and leaving in June, 1876. He was licensed as local 
preacher on Chuckatuck circuit, September 20th, 1873. He served under the Elder on the Charles 
City and Henrico circuit, as junior, from July, 1876, to the Conference in November, when he was 
received in the travelling connection and sent as helper to Rev. Oscar Littleton, Gloucester circuit. 
In 1877, he was appointed to Chatham circuit. In 1878, he was ordained deacon, and returned to 
the same charge. 

There is the most substantial stuff in the mental make-up of Pruden. He promises a career 
of solid usefulness, He has strong sense and sound character. He studies, 



200 SKETCHES OF THE VIRGINIA CONFERENCE, 



Rev. Edward Gunter Chandler. 

HE is a native of Accomac county ; birth, July 27th, 1853 ; converted, June 6th, 1867 ; became 
member of church in . September, 1867 ; was convinced of duty to preach in summer of 1872 ; 
entered college, September, 1873, and remained till June, 1877 ; was debater of his society in 1877, 
and orator in 1878 ; graduated in biblical literature and other classes ; was licensed to preach, Octo- 
ber, 1875 ; preached during 1876, to some extent, but had regular appointment in the country, in 
1876-7. After the close of session of 1876-7, took charge of Pittsylvania circuit ; joined Conference 
in November, 1877, then sent to Culpeper circuit, where he is now serving. 

He is popular, in and out of the pulpit ; revivals follow his ministrations. His heart is in the 
work, and his brain is busy planning for the advancement of the kingdom. 



Rev. Thomas Page Duke. 

IN the Spring of 1869 the malaria from the Pamunkey had brought young Duke to skin and a 
skeleton. No one thought of his recovery. Jesus passed by, forgave bis sins, called him to 
the ministry in the act of pardon. The boy, half-way across the threshold of death, told of his 
vocation from heaven to preach. None dreamed of his living but a short time, and regarded his 
story as the idle wind. They laughed at it. The disease abated. The youth regained health. 
He made a public profession in September, 1869, and united with the church. In 1871 he entered 
Eandolph Macon as a ministerial student, and continued for three sessions and a half ; licensed on 
Hanover circuit 25th June, 1877, and spent some time on that field with Eey. W. G. "Williams. In 
November, 1877, he joined the Conference ; appointed to West Franklin, where he is laboring in 
1880. 

He was twenty two on June 8th, 1880. His youth was passed on a farm. He is a native of 
Hanover county. His mother gave him religious training. The good work is ripening mto fruit- 
age in the faithful ministry and worthy life of her son, 



METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, SOUTH. 201 



Rev. Abram Beauford Warwick. 

HE is the son of Abram I. and Margaret R. Warwick, and was born in Lovingston, Nelson county; 
Va., August 24th, 1857. His paternal great-grandfather, Abram Warwick, was among the early- 
English settlers in Nelson, where he lived for many years, and died, leaving a large number of sons, 
and where his old residence still remains. In 1861, young Warwick's parents moved to Charlottes- 
ville, Albemarle county, Va. He professed conversion under the ministry of Eev. T. A. Ware, dur 
ing a revival in Charlottesville, in the spring of 1867, and immediately united with the Methodist 
Episcopal Church, South, in that place. 

By the removal of the family to Nelson, in 1868, his education was interrupted, and not re- 
sumed till the autumn of 1872, when he entered a High School in Charlottesville. After remaining 
there three sessions, he entered the University of Virginia, which institution he attended for two 
sessions, till June, 1877. About the time of beginning at the University, he became exercised on the 
subject of preaching the gospel, but the matter was rather deferred as something indefinite, and in 
the distant future, till the fall of 1877, when he fully determined to enter the ministry. November 
12th, 1877, he was licensed as a local preacher. November 16th, 1877, he was admitted on trial into 
the Virginia Conference, and appointed as junior preacher to Bedford circuit. . At the session of 
1878, he was continued on trial, and appointed to Matoaca, Chesterfield county, Va. ; but, through 
an exchange made after the adjournment of Conference, was assigned to Stony Point circuit, Char- 
lottesville district. In 1879, he was sent to Surry circuit. 

Mr. Warwick has cultivated his excellent gifts, and has before him a career of exceptional credit 
and usefulness. 



Rev. Joseph Rodgers Sturgis. 

HE is a Baltimorean, and in his thirty-fifth year ; united with Methodist Episcopal Church, in 
Somerset county, August, 1869, licensed to exhort in 1870 ; removed to Virginia in 1874, and. 
transferred membership ; licensed local preacher, May, 1875 ; admitted into Conference in Novem- 
ber, 1878, and sent to Ettricks', and returned there at the Conference in 1879. 

Mr. Sturgis has guarded zeal, command of first rate abilities, and thorough devotion to his 
calling. He has secured increase of numbers and spirituality in his charge. 

26 



202 SKETCHES OF THE VIRGINIA CONFERENCE, 



Rev. Theodore Owens Edwards. 

HE was born in Norfolk, Va., July 9th, 1856. He is the son of the Bev. J. J. Edwards, of the 
Virginia Conference. 

In September, 1872, he commenced his collegiate education at Eandolph Macon College, which 
he attended four years. Soon after the fall session opened for the year 1873, Dr. J. A. Duncan be- 
gan a revival. On September 30th, he found Christ, as a personal Saviour, and, on October 5th, 
joined the church at Ashland. For many years — ever since he could recollect — Mr. Edwards had a 
great desire to become a minister. He had never expressed his wishes to any one, but, when con- 
verted, Dr. Duncan said to him : " I expect to see you a minister of the Gospel." 

At a Quarterly Conference of Monumental station, Portsmouth, Va., held February 25th, 1878, 
he was granted a local preacher's license. November 14th, 1878, he was admitted as a probationer 
in the Virginia Annual Conference, and was sent as junior preacher on Gates circuit, where he did 
excellent service. There was considerable revival. In November, 1879, he was assigned to West 
Matthews circuit. 

Young Edwards has a frank, bright face. He is taking a front rank as a systematic, energetic 
and growing preacher. He has the briskness of youth, and somewhat of the discretion of age. 



Rev. William Thomas Green. 

HIS parents were Methodists. He is a native of Matthews county, and will be twenty-three 
on the 13th December, 1880. He lost his mother when he was very young. He had to rough 
it till manhood. He was converted at the age of thirteen, under the ministry of Eev. A. Wiles ; was 
licensed October 27th, 1878; joined Conference same year and was sent to North Pittsylvania circuit, 
and again in 1879. 

There are the outcropings of much manliness and earnest piety, and promise of excellent service 
in young Green. 



METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, SOUTH. 203 



Rev. David James Traynham. 

I F David Traynham is not a successor of the apostles, then the Twelve have no sons in modern 
JL times. He is not the pastor of the rich alone in city or circuit. He feeds the sheep in the wil 
derness. In the rugged region beyond the Dan, he seeks for the rude men in mountain districts. 
God blesses the pioneer in this section. Wickedness is waning in this hitherto neglected territory. 
His mother's family were Methodists. Her father was John Bailey, an influential citizen of Person coun- 
ty, North Carolina, well known to the older preachers of the Virginia and North Carolina Conferences, 
for his purity and zeal. Mr. Traynham's mother was a devout Wesleyan. She prayed with the boy 
in secret, and often. He was converted at a church of the Baptists, and joined them at Black Wal- 
nut in Halifax, Virginia, of which county he is a native. At seventeen, he went into the war, and 
into many hot combats. He was the picked cannoneer of his company, detailed to guard with their 
guns the rear of Lee's army on the retreat from Petersburg. During the war, he was wounded two 
or three times. His mother, as he started to the Confederate camp, a mere stripling, requested him 
not to drink. He does not know, even now, the taste of liquor. He decayed in piety during the war, 
but kept his pledge to his Methodist mother. 

In August, 1872, under the ministry of the Rev. W. C. Vaden, he sought God and found pardon* 
He was at home, but next morning sought his venerable mother, who had not ceased to pray for him. 
At this distance of time, the account of their meeting is charged with tears of a gladness, quite on the 
verge of heaven. 

Presently he was an exhorter, then local preacher, but still there was a pressure of conviction 
that he must " Go and preach." It was a struggle. He had been a farmer for years, and with a 
family. He was shy of speech. It was suggested that a mission near his home might satisfy his 
conscience. He thought not. At the Danville Conference (1876), he was assigned as supply to 
West Franklin. In that work he could not find board or a house to rent after searching a month. 
He was down in heart. With another effort he succeeded in securing a home near the circuit. They 
knew at the end of the year what a blessing he brought. 

In 1877 he was sent to Dan River Mission. His work was blessed, and he returned the next year. 
A great revival ensued. Though he was a " man with a family", the Conference was glad to get 
this apostle, so successful in the " regions beyond." In 1879, he was received, and appointed to 
South Patrick circuit. 



201 SKETCEES OF TEE VIRGINIA CONFERENCE, 



Rev. Thomas McNider Simpson. 

ME. SIMPSON, it would seem, was chosen for the ministry from birth. God took care to make 
the calling and election sure. The story of his rescue from the water and resuscitation, which 
we shall presently relate, is not without interest. There is no mistake in the matter of a dispensa- 
tion having been committed to Mack Simpson. The symmetrical character, the wise ardor, the 
social graces, and his unusual abilities in the pulpit, testify that it was not by man's devising that 
he is feeding the flock of Christ. 

His parents were Thomas E. and Elizabeth J. Simpson. He was born in Hertford, Perquimans 
county, N. O, March 7th, 1852. His father, who was a merchant, was born and grew up in this 
county. But he lived only eight years after his marriage, and the care of supporting and training 
their three small children was thus early devolved solely upon the mother. She was also a native, 
of this county, but was of Scotch descent. Her father, Thomas McNider, was the grandson — pos- 
sibly, great-grandson — of one of that name, who came over with the party of Scots that settled, . 
it is believed, in the Cape Fear section of North Carolina. This is probably the only McNider 
family in this country. 

She was of delicate constitution, and often fearing the orphanage of her children, prayed that 
her life might be spared to see them grown and engaged in the service of the M as ter. This prayer 
was most graciously answered, as, indeed, she said, when life was closing, was every other important 
one that she had made respecting them. 

Of these children, the subject of this sketch was the oldest. His early educational advantages 
were few and imperfect. In April, 1869, at a protracted meeting, held in the town, by Eev. James 
L. Fisher, he professed conversion, and joined the church. From this time many friends began to 
look upon, and to speak of, the ministry as his future work. But it was not until after a long and 
somewhat painful struggle with fears and doubts, that his own mind was settled on the subject. 
That God had called him to the ministry hardly seemed credible, but the conviction deepened as he 
grew older, and, at last, the alternative appeared to be : Do this, or life is a failure. During this 
period of indecision an incident of early life was almost constantly on his mind and mysteriously 
impressive : At five years of age he was, apparently, ready for and near his burial. He had fallen 
into the river from a wharf near his father's house, and when, after some difficulty, he was taken 
out, his body was, to all appearance, lifeless. He was drowned. Physicians examined him and 
friends applied all the remedies known or supposed to be effectual, but to no perceptible purpose, 
and the case was pronounced hopeless. With bowed heart, the mother accepted the result, and 
began the last offices. About this time a sea-captain, whose vessel was lying in the stream, asked 
to be allowed to examine the body. This was granted, and he affirmed that there was still remain- 
ing a spot of life in the breast " as large as a silver dollar." With this encouragement, efforts were 
renewed, and, in a few hours, the little spark had spread through and warmed the entire system. 
The dead was alive again. Two circumstances in connection with this event seemed, in earlier life, 
strange ; they now appear providential. The first was, that when the friends assembled, at the re. 



METHODIST EPISCOPAL CEUBCH, SOUTH. 205 

port to recover the body, it was seen floating on the surface of the water, as if kept there by some 
strange support, until friendly hands should take it to the shore. ; the other was, that after repeated 
efforts had proved fruitless, and physicians had despaired, a stranger should come forward and save 
the child from the grave. Is it presumption to see in this the hand that guides the falling sparrow 1 
At the session of the Virginia Conference, in Norfolk, November, 1873, he was received, on 
trial, in the traveling connection, and sent, as junior preacher, under Eev. William P. Wright, to 
Bertie circuit. In the early part of this year, while off on the circuit, the house of the friend with 
whom he kept his trunk and library, was burned, and everything he had, except the few books and 
clothing in his saddle bags, was destroyed. But there was encouragement in the fact that he was 
in the midst of a kind and generous people. The loss was soon repaired in words and deeds. At 
the close of this year, feeling the need of a much more thorough preparation for his work, and 
seeing an opportunity to secure it in some measure, he determined to spend two or three years at 
Randolph Macon College. At the. Conference, in November, 1874, he was discontinued, at his own 
request, and the middle of the following month entered the College. He remained there three years 
— until June, 1877. Immediately after the close of the session, at the request of the Presiding 
Elder, Bev. L. S. Reed, and the wish of the pastor, Rev. J. B. Laurens, whose health had failed, 
he took charge of Hampton and Pox Hill station. At the Conference in November following, at 
Lynchburg, he was again received on trial, and ordained, by Bishop D. S. Doggett, a local deacon. 
He was appointed this year to Berkeley station ; and at the Conference in Petersburg, November, 
1878, was re-appointed to the same work. He is now serving his third year with this people. 



Rev. Robert Brunskill Scott. 

BIRTH, 4th day of June, 1849; native county, Hanover ; parents, Robert and Mary Scott ; joined 
Conference November, 1877. He is serving West Lunenburg well — a first-rate member of 
the juniors. 



206 SKETCHES OF THE VIRGINIA CONFERENCE, 



Rev. John Oliver Moss. 

ME. MOSS is from Methodist ancestors for perhaps a century. The house of Moss believed in 
Mr. Wesley. John is of Mecklenburg county, dating from October 9th, 1855. His mother 
was a Jennings, so Moss may yet secure that "Jennings fortune,'' and divide with the brethren, 
who are without purse or pecuniary prospects. 

At twelve, and at fourteen, he was a seeker, but not satisfied, but about sixteen years old, 
while meditating on his bed, he received the witness of the Spirit. The heavens around him shone 
with beams of sacred bliss. In his eighteenth year he was made an exhorter, and continued for 
four years. In 1 875 he entered Eandolph Macon College, and continued two sessions ; licensed ■ 
local preacher in 1877 on Mecklenburg circuit, and admitted on probation into the Conference in 
November, of the same year, and sent as junior to Gates circuit. In November, 1878, he was ap- 
pointed to Woodville circuit, and was Beturned in 1879. 

Mr. Moss had the usual experience in setting out, of getting befogged at times, but he is not 
the person to crane under obstacles, and he is now on the high road to a studious and useful minis- 
try. He has a manly and intelligent face, and a fine figure. There is amiability and resolution in 
Moss, 



Rev William Henry Riddick. 

IT is a preaching family — the Eiddicks — and clever preachers, too. This junior gives promise of 
keeping the old renown undiminished. He is fervent in religion, and not slothful in planning 
and working for the temporal welfare of the church. 

He is from Nansemond, having been born near Suffolk, July 23d, 1847. He was converted Au- 
gust 27th, 1866, after a secret struggle of years. He was farming up to January, 1876, when he 
entered Eandolph Macon; licensed in the Pall of 1876; admitted 1877, and appointed to Hertford 
circuit. In 1878 assigned to Stony Point circuit, but was changed to Matoaca, where he is doing a 
good sound work, 



METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, SOUTH. 207 



Rev. George Henry Zimmermann. 

THE German accent is on Zimmermann's tongue, but it is more pleasing than otherwise. The 
pronunciation may sound of the "Vaderland," but the sense tells you that an intelligent 
gentleman is speaking. He served in this city, and won esteem among preachers and people, for 
his many excellent qualities. 

He is the son of Jacob Frederick and Christina Zimmermann, and was born in Pforzheim, Grand 
Duchy of Baden, Germany, June 3d, 1849. He received his education at the Gynasium in Bruch- 
sal, Baden. In March, 1867, he came to America. Through the influence of his relations he was 
brought to attend the Methodist church in Baltimore. The inculcation of Methodist doctrines - 
slowly, "but nevertheless surely, sunk in and made deep and lasting impressions upon his life and 
character. In the summer of 1869 he removed to Indianapolis, Indiana, but finding the climate 
unfavorable to his health left that city for Chicago, Illinois, the following year. "While living in that 
city, he attended one of the German camp -meetings, held near that city, where he was happily con- 
verted to God. After the memorable fire, that partly destroyed that city, he returned to Baltimore, 
Maryland, where he connected himself with the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. While here 
he became deeply agitated about entering the ministry. In 1874 he was elected superintendent of 
the Sunday-school, and licensed to exhort ; and at the first Quarterly Conference of the German 
Mission in 1875, he was examined and duly licensed as a local preacher. He now commenced to 
employ his gifts by preaching every alternate Sabbath to a small congregation, which the Bev. E. 
N. S. Blogg had gathered in the town of Arlington, near Baltimore, and occasionally in Baltimore ; 
also superintending a Sunday-school at both places. At the Virginia Conference of 1877, he was 
appointed in charge of the German Mission chapel in Bichmond. At the Conference of 1878, in 
Petersburg, he joined the Virginia Conference, and was again returned to the German work in 
Bichmond. At the Conference of 1879, he was elected and ordained deacon, and appointed to the 
Bobinson Biver circuit. 



Rev. Charles Edwin Wren. 

HE is a native of Botetourt county, though reared in Bedford. He was born 31st August, 1853, 
converted 1874, has been Sunday-school superintendent, class leader, local preacher; admitted 
into Conference in 1876, sent to Clover Hill ; served a year -, went to Bandolph Macon awhile ; took 
work in 1878 on Milton circuit, where an extensive revival occurred. 
Mr. Wren is tall and stout, with great force. 



208 : SKETCHES OF TBE VIRGINIA CONFERENCE. 



Rev. John "William Sewell Robins. 

HE is a brother of the Eev. W. P. Eobins, of the Conference ; born and reared in Accomac ; con- 
verted in his fourteenth year (1867), and entered the Church. The call to the ministry was 
acknowledged soon after conversion, but the want of proper preparation made the conviction of 
duty a sore grief. At his majority he set out for the CoBege at Ashland, beginning in September, 
1874, and remaining until the end of the session, in June, 1875. The claims at home kept him busy 
until the fall of 1876. He was, in the meanwhile, licensed, and exercised his gift on the Atlantic 
circuit. He returned to the College, and was a student for one year. He assisted on the South 
Norfolk circuit during the summer. He entered the Conference in November, 1877, and was sent 
to South Dorchester. Mr. Sewell Robins has the gift of song — a rich voice, robust build, pleasing 
features, vim, and unbounded good humor. There is a place for Sewell, and he will fill it well. 



THE END.